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Magnetic power to promote regeneration


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Scientists are starting to recognize the importance of mechanical pull when it comes to damaged neurons. This method could lead to restoration of lost connections and functional recovery.

Pulling for growth
The principle is extremely simple: Tiny magnetic particles are attached to the surface of the cell. A magnetic force will then pull the neuron and force it to stretch. This principle has been known for some years already, but scientists have been wondering which magnetic particle might work best.

The best magnetic pull
Vittoria Raffa and her group from Pisa, Italy, started testing several types of magnetic compounds. Most of them are nanoparticles, very tiny spheres that are magnetized and can stick on the surface of the neuron. After various experiments, the group found out that bacterial magnetosomes have the most powerful effect. Magnetosomes are small structures that exist inside bacteria. These bacteria can be found all over the world and use their magnetosomes as compass.
Dr. Raffa concludes that these compounds have an extraordinary ability to induce stretch-growth and are perfect candidates to induce growth in living organisms.

This study was published in the journal International Journal of Molecular Sciences and was supported by Wings for Life.

Source: De Vincentiis S, Falconieri A, Mickoleit F, Cappello V, Sch├╝ler D, Raffa V. Induction of Axonal Outgrowth in Mouse Hippocampal Neurons via Bacterial Magnetosomes. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Apr 16;22(8):4126.

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