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Scientists at the University of Minnesota have produced a 3D printed transparent skull implant them to observe the inner workings of mouse-brains in real time. Named the See-Shell it could provide new insights for human brain conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
The study published in the journal Nature Communications states that non-human primates, in this case mice, share similar genetics, anatomy, physiology, and behaviour with humans and so provide a good substitute.
Timothy - J - Ebner - University - Minnesota
Timothy J. Ebner, University of Minnesota Professor and a co-author of the study commented, “These are studies we couldn’t do in humans, but they are extremely important in our understanding of how the brain works so we can improve treatments for people who experience brain injuries or diseases.”
View of the mouse’s brain through the implant over the course of 30 weeks. Image via Nature Communications.
See-Shell - Researchers - Surface - Mouse - Skull
To make the See-Shell, researchers digitally scanned the surface of the mouse’s skull and imported this data into CAD software (Solidworks, Dassault Systèmes) to make a frame. This frame was then 3D printed out of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), commonly known as acrylic.
On to this surface a thin flexible...
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