A collaboration between researchers in Japan and the United States has led to a new microdevice that successfully forms fascicles in the lab.
The report, which can be read in Stem Cell Reports, is expected to provide important insights on brain development and disease.
Many scientists have examined axon development and degeneration in two-dimensional (2D) systems.
However, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the fascicle's 3D structure has an essential role in axon function.
Because fascicles are disrupted in many neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS, the research group theorized that understanding their formation could give clues on the prevention of a number of diseases.
To form axon fascicles, the research teams manufactured a microdevice in which human neurons derived from induced pluripotent stem cells were injected.