You can make a working mini-brain with only $0.25!


The Hoffman-Kim’s lab in Brown University has described a method that allows researchers to build a working yet not-thinking miniature brain with accessible material in a very cost-effective way. Even though they don’t perform cognitive functions, they produce electrical signals and form their own neural connections (synapses) making them readily producible testbeds for neuroscience research. And apparently, each mini-brain costs you only $0.25 to make!. “We think of this as a way to have a better in vitro model that can maybe reduce animal use,” said graduate student Molly Boutin, co-lead author of the new paper in the journal Tissue Engineering: Part C. “A lot of the work that’s done right now is in two-dimensional culture, but this is an alternative that is much more relevant to the in vivo scenario.”