Cells in gel 'matrix' key to 'brain in bottle' research

The key to the new 'brain in bottle' research involved nourishing immature cells in a gel-like "matrix" that allowed the complex organoid structures to develop.

These were then transferred to a spinning bioreactor which provided extra nutrients and oxygen, enabling them to grow much larger in size.

After two months of development the "mini-brains" had become globular spheres up to four millimetres in diameter.

Each one surrounded a ventricle-like inner cavity and mimicked the layered structure of a human brain growing within a developing foetus.

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'Brain in a bottle' grown

A miniaturised "brain-in-a-bottle" has been grown by stem cell scientists who hope it will lead to new treatments for neurological and mental diseases.