Annual Report 2001 - Cornell University
003 Selected Faculty Research

17 Growing New Nerve Cells

W. Mark Saltzman, Chemical Engineering, and research staff demonstrated a technique for transplanting clusters of brain cells with controlled-release microcapsules of proteins to enable cell differentiation and growth. The researchers tested the system by implanting rat fetal brain cells and nerve growth factor (NGF) in the brains of adult rats. It is a clear corroboration that brain cells can survive and differentiate when preassembled with NGF-released particles. Although the technique has not been tested on humans, it is adaptable to various transplantation needs. Saltzman's laboratory is particularly interested in the transplantation and regeneration of cells in the nervous system, including the brain, where the body cannot produce new cells after the fetal stage. A local delivery system within a microenvironment, such as this new technique, could be used to treat neurodegenerative disease and spinal cord injuries.

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© 2002 by the Office of the Vice Provost for Research [OVPR], Cornell University.

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