Engineers at MIT have now used a new microchip technology to rapidly test potential drugs on tiny worms called C. elegans, which are often used in studies of the nervous system. Using the new technology, associate professor Mehmet Fatih Yanik and his colleagues rapidly performed laser surgery, delivered drugs and imaged the resulting neuron regrowth in thousands of live animals.
“Our technology helps researchers rapidly identify promising chemicals that can then be tested in mammals and perhaps even in humans,” says Yanik. Using this technique, the researchers have already identified one promising class of neuronal regenerators.
The paper will appear in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences the week of Oct. 11.