tech incubates exciting research
Image credit: Simon Bennett (Fairfax Media)
A team of
Australian researchers from Western Sydney University have successfully
developed a revolutionary way to increase the lifespan of live tissue required
for scientific and medical research by 400 per cent.
the viability of live tissue was only six (6) hours which meant research time
was limited. Using this new technology, live tissue is still viable after 24
Buskila and Dr Paul Breen from the MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and
Development built the BraincubatorTM to increase
the testing and research capabilities of live tissue, and also drastically
reduce the number of animals sacrificed for research purposes, namely rats and
rats share similar DNA structures with humans, and often suffer from the same diseases, they are commonly
used in medical research.
who is a neuroscientist, uses brain slices from rats to study the way neurons
communicate and process electrophysiological signals.
brain slice preparations are instrumental in developing our understanding of
the nervous system, but previously the lifespan of an acute brain slice was
limited to around six (6) hours,'' he said.
reduces potential experimentation time and leads to considerable waste of
"My aim was
to provide a practical and feasible solution that harnessed opportunities where
rare live tissue was obtained for testing and research purposes – and
to use these tissues in the most effective and ethical way."
said the main reason for the short lifespan of live tissue was its
susceptibility to bacterial and environmental degradation which caused the
cells to die.
He said the
BraincubatorTM was so effective because it acted as an
incubation system that prevented the growth of bacteria, slowing down cell
slices require an environment that simulates their natural environment in order
to maintain cellular metabolic activity and electrophysiological function," he
BraincubatorTM works by controlling the temperature and pH levels of
the artificial cerebral spinal fluid in which the tissue is incubated.
system is effective at maintaining extremely low bacterial levels by
continually passing this artificial fluid through a UVC filtration system."
said a few attempts had been made over the years to maximize cellular
longevity, however, none as successful as this concept.
the use of the BraincubatorTM will have far-reaching benefits for
the efficiency of research by effectively quadrupling the amount of data that
can be produced from one animal through extending live tissue sustainability."
viability of Dr Buskila and Dr Breen's technique was validated through
electrophysiological recordings as well as live/dead cell assessments.
For more information, contact Farah Abdurahman on (02) 9772 6695 / 0427945 382 / F.Abdurahman@westernsydney.edu.au
30 March, 2017