Scientists have created world’s first tiniest hammer that can precisely measure how force affects your brain cells. Researchers see this as an advance step toward better treatments for traumatic brain injuries and diseases like Alzheimer's.
Researchers at University of California, Santa Barbara in US have built this tiny machine called micro Hammer.
“Mechanical forces have been shown to impact cells a lot,” said Kimberly Turner from UC Santa Barbara.
Micro Hammer is a cellular-scale machine built to tap, strike, squeeze and poke individual neural progenitors elicits responses that will then be studied and recorded to add to a body of knowledge that can help unlock the mysteries of the brain.
How does it work?
Micro Hammer flows individual cells through and subjects each of them to one of a variety of physical forces.
Scientists believe that this project will enable precision measurements of the physical, chemical and biological changes that occur when cells are subjected to mechanical loading, ranging from small perturbations to high-force, high-speed impacts.
With the help of this tool, researchers will also be able to gain new insights into the causes and progress of brain injuries due to trauma.
Currently Micro Hammer is undergoing the process of characterisation. Its types and magnitudes of forces are being measured and recorded in anticipation of the first set of neuron-smashing experiments.
If put to best use, Micro Hammer would help researchers gain insight on how forces affect other cells and tissue types.
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