Completely locked-in man uses brain-computer interface to communicate
Revealing 3D anatomy with lightsheet microscopy
Discovering new sub-cellular worlds in 3D brain samples
Image of the month: Apple tree neurons – illuminating communication structures in the branches of the spinal cord
Synaptic vesicles, located at the end of neurons, are structures involved in neuronal communication. Studying the activity and function of synaptic vesicles in specific neurons is important because synaptic dysfunction is a common feature of many neurological disorders and understanding how synaptic vesicles behave can provide insights into how these diseases develop and how they might be treated. In this mouse spinal cord, the morphology and location of neurons are shown fluorescently labeled green (mGFP) and synaptic vesicles are labeled red (synaptophysin-mRuby fusion protein). The vesicles appear brown/orange against the green neurons as they are very small. This labeling approach has potential for use in spinal cord repair as it enables specific neurons to be targeted, for example for the regeneration of axonal tracts and the promotion of synaptic plasticity in the spinal cord.
Credit: Wyss Center - Tom Hutson, Francesca Marchisella, Jade Nguyen
Expansion microscopy: A technique to visualize the intricacies of the brain
Expansion microscopy deepens our understanding of disease mechanisms to accelerate development of therapies for neurological and psychiatric disorders, like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. Chemical anchors in expanding gel attach to biomolecules, physically expanding the brain sample and allowing as much information as possible to be extracted from the tissue.
ABILITY enters preclinical trial
A preclinical trial is underway with the ABILITY brain-computer interface system.
The study, which is being carried out in sheep, is a crucial step towards development of a fully implantable device to enable applications such as communication and movement for people with paralysis.
The trial will assess the safety and feasibility of brain signal recording and wireless transfer of neural data to a wearable computer.
The ABILITY device and an X-ray view of the device when implanted.
Where I work: Seeing the invisible
Research technician Ivana Gantar explores the hidden microscopic world within mammalian brains using the latest lightsheet microscope technology.
ALICe: State-of-the-art advanced lightsheet imaging center
Whole central nervous system lightsheet imaging of motor circuit and 3D surface rendering (Asboth et al. 2018). Courtine Lab, EPFL
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Our latest newsletters
We announce a new partnership, our grant in the spotlight from the Wyss foundation, we share good news from the start ups Neurosoft Bioelectronics and Artiria Medical, and much more.
We welcome our new CEO Erwin Böttinger, admire fluorescent labeling of the spinal cord and consider how the approach could be used in spinal cord repair.
Decoding imagined speech from the brain, 3D sub-cellular worlds and a computational solution for real-world biological data.
Gene therapy to boost spinal cord injury rehab, blood vessels in the human brain and nanobodies as future medicine.