The brain tissue that for the first time in the laboratory spontaneously exhibited electrical activity, surprisingly similar to the functioning of the human brain. More specifically, the brain activity of premature babies. The research report was presented at the annual meeting of the Society of Neuroscientists and published in the biographical database of bioRKiv.org transcript.
These organelles are three-dimensional, miniature, simplified versions of organs grown in a research laboratory, such as drug reactions or cell development in certain adverse conditions.
Neurobiologist Elisson Muotou has been developing organic organic cerebrum for several years in his laboratory at the University of California, San Diego, but this is the first time he and his colleagues have noticed an activity similar to that in the human brain.
Interested organelles were grown from pluripotent stem cells. They induced these "form" for development into cells that make up the cerebral cortex – a part responsible for very important things like memory, perception, cognitive abilities, thoughts, and sensory processing.
Hundreds of these little brains were raised for 10 months. During this period, they were tested to ensure that their development expressed the necessary genes. The researchers also continuously tracked the organs using electroencephalogram (EEG).
In about six months, according to Nature, "mini-brains" showed a strong brain activity. The analysis showed that it was not organized and predictable as an adult's brain activity. However, with a chaotic, synchronized explosion, the phenomenon resembled the activity of the brain that was observed in premature babies.
Despite the fact that this is not identical, the machine learning model, trained on EEG signatures of premature babies, was able to identify many similar features with a normal schedule of development. In the past 28 weeks, the development of organoids seems to be appropriate for the development of premature babies of the same age.
These cerebral organelles are not completely similar to parts of the real human brain: they are not only smaller and simpler – they do not have other areas of the brain with which to connect. They are designed in terms of insufficient amounts of protein required for normal neuronal functions. However, the mini brain can be a step towards a better understanding of brain development.
"Although we do not insist on the functional equivalence between the organoid and the whole brain of the newborn," researchers said, "current results are a step forward to an artificial model that reflects some complex time-based oscillatory dynamics of the human brain."
Researchers will continue to develop a "mini-brain" to find out whether it will "grow up."