A team of researchers at the RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research in Japan have developed a new way to keep brain tissue from animals alive and viable for up to 25 days. So far, scientists have been limited to carrying out experiments with brain tissue for only a couple of days, according to Science Alert.
"This method can be used for more than explanted tissues from animals," first author Nobutoshi Ota said in a statement. "It will also improve research into [the development of embryos] through long-term culturing and observation which is necessary for growing tissue and organs."
The researchers expanded on an already-existing technique that involves so-called microfluidic devices — a special and highly precise way to deliver the fluids and nutrients that brain tissue needs to stay alive.
A paper of their research was published in the journal Analytical Sciences yesterday.
A major hurdle: too much liquid would keep the tissue's cells from exchanging gases; too little, and it would dry out and die like an old sponge.
To solve the issue, the team developed a new microfluidic device that includes a permeable artificial membrane that allows some — but not all — liquid to pass through, keeping moisture levels just right.
READ MORE: Scientists Have Successfully Kept Mouse Brain Tissue Alive in The Lab For Weeks [Science Alert]
More on brain tissue: New Lab-Grown Mini Brains Are the Most Advanced Yet