Visitors see how nanomaterials are able to form tiny structures called nanoscaffolds that help the body repair damaged muscle, bone, and nerve tissues. In the interactive, an injured nerve is unable to communicate messages. After injecting nanoparticles, visitors can watch as the nerve endings grow back together, and sensory messages are once again able to reach the brain.
This exhibit was part of the Nanotechnology: What's the Big Deal? exhibition which toured the Arkansas Discovery Network beginning in 2010.
Researchers are working on ways to repair tissues with nanotechnology.
Nerve tissue injuries are typically permanent because scar tissue prevents injured nerve cells from reconnecting.
Researchers have created a fluid that can be injected into an injured brain that self-assembles into a nanoscaffold that actually helps the brain heal.
The nanoscaffold enables neurons to grow towards one another, "knitting" the wounded brain back together.
Developed for the NISE Network with funding from the National Science Foundation under Award Numbers 0532536 and 0940143. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this product are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Foundation.
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