By implanting transparent skulls in mice, researchers believe they may be able to gain new insights on how the brain works as a whole – research that can lead to new treatments for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other brain disorders.
"This new device allows us to look at the brain activity at the smallest level so you zoom in on specific neurons while you get a big picture of much of the brain's surface over time," University of Minnesota Researcher Suhasa Kodandaramaiah said in a press release.
In a study published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications the research group outlined how it used a scanner and 3D printer to create transparent replicas of skulls with dozens of mice. During surgery, the researchers then replaced the mouse's own skulls with the transparent replicas they call See-Shells.
The team has already used their transparent skulls to study how a mild concussion in a brain group affects the rest of the body, and they believe that the See-Shell will allow similar studies on other types of brain problems.
"There are studies we couldn't do in humans," said researcher Timothy J. Ebner in the release, "but they are extremely important in our understanding of how the brain works, so we can improve treatments for people experiencing brain damage. or diseases. "
READ MORE: 3D Printed Transparent Skull Gives a Window to the Brain [University of Minnesota]
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