September 21, 2006
Nanotube Scaffolds for Neural Implants
Nanotube scaffolds are helping stem cells to grow in stroke-damaged brains. Thomas Webster and his collaborators in South Korea found a possible anchor in carbon nanotubes: tiny, highly conductive carbon fibers that not only act as scaffolds, helping stem cells stay rooted to diseased areas, but also seem to play an active role in turning stem cells into neurons. Rats given both nanotubes and cells showed new neural growth in stroke-damaged brain regions in as little as a week.