29 March 2006

j-e-l-l-spinal cord!

today's food-based bag of rocks continues with some jelly-like substance fixing the shit out of people's spinal injuries.

Hydrogels resemble the soft tissue that surrounds a human spinal cord as it develops in the womb, Jendelova said. Neurons grow through pores in the material, creating a scaffold that supports delicate cells. The pores are also large enough to allow the transmission of chemical signals that orchestrate neural development.

Jendelova believes hydrogels' physical properties, which are similar to those of Jell-O, increase the likelihood that stem cells will integrate successfully with existing spinal tissue.

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