By implanting transparent skulls into mice, scientists believe they can discover new insights into brain function as a whole – research that can lead to new treatments for Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and other disorders. of the brain.
"This new device allows us to observe brain activity at the smallest level by zooming in on specific neurons while providing a holistic view of much of the brain's surface over time," said Suhasa Kodandaramaiah, researcher at the University of Minnesota. .
In a study published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications, the research team explains how she used a scanner and a 3D printer to create transparent replicas of the skulls of dozens of mice. During the surgery, the scientists then replaced the skulls of the mouse with transparent replicas, which they call See-Shells.
The team has already used their transparent skulls to study the consequences of a mild concussion in one area of the brain and remains convinced that the See-Shell will allow similar studies to be done on other types of brain problems.
"These are studies that we could not do in humans," said researcher Timothy J. Ebner, "but they are extremely important in understanding how the brain works to improve people's treatments." with lesions or diseases of the brain. "
READ MORE: The transparent skull printed in 3D opens a window on the brain [University of Minnesota]
More on brains: Alzheimer's trial will "bathe" patients' brains in useful genes