Artificial nerve cells have been made in the lab

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Synthetic neurons made of hydrogel could one day be used in sophisticated artificial tissues to repair organs such as the heart or the eyes



Health



21 April 2022

D7MNDD Neural network, artwork

Illustration of a nerve cell

KTSDESIGN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Alamy

Artificial nerve cells made from biocompatible materials have been made in a lab for the first time. The innovation may one day be used in synthetic tissues to repair organs such as the heart or the eyes.

Hagan Bayley at the University of Oxford and his colleagues devised a synthetic material that can act in a similar way to a human neuron.

Made from hydrogel, the artificial neurons are about 0.7 millimetres across ­– about 700 times wider than a human neuron, but similar to …

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