Dr. Moore recently received funding from the Louisiana Board of Regents (LEQSF[2009-10]-RD-A-18) to further develop techniques he has invented for creating 3D tissue-engineered models of nerve growth. His approach involves a digital micromirror device (DMD), the same technology used in DLP televisions and projectors, for patterning biocompatible hydrogels on the scale of micrometers (1/1000th of a millimeter).These micropatterned hydrogels provide a three-dimensional environment for studying the guidance of neural tissue growth. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke awarded funding (R21-NS065374) to use these 3D micropatterned environments for studying the guidance of neural tissue growth in response to biomolecules engineered into the gels. Dr. Moore is specifically interested in a class of biomolecules partially responsible for the development of the optic chiasm, the point at which nerves from both eyes cross to take information from each eye to either side of the brain. The research may lead to a better understanding of how to engineer nerve growth in preferred directions in a manner that more closely resembles natural processes.
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