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Second Place - Shantanu Sur

Postdoctoral Fellow, Simpson Querrey Institute for BioNanotechnology

“Neurons in Nanofiber Gel”

Parkinson’s disease manifests when the brain cells that make the neurotransmitter dopamine begin to die off. Dopamine is essential for the control of movement, and without it even the simplest daily activities can become very challenging.

The replacement of dopamine neurons is emerging as a promising therapy for Parkinson's disease. Sur and his colleagues in the Stupp Laboratory are working to regrow dopamine neurons in an artificial matrix environment, which can then be transplanted into the Parkinsonian brain.

In this image, the neurons from a mouse embryo have been encapsulated in a nanofiber matrix (vertical cylinder), and then allowed to grow embedded in a block of collagen gel. After a few days of culture, these neurons (blue lines) grew out of the nanofiber matrix into the surrounding collagen gel.

Technique: Confocal microscopy, false coloring

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