Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Cell Culturing Method Pumps Up The Volume

Date:
September 27, 2007
Source:
Marine Biological Laboratory
Summary:
In a breakthrough that will likely accelerate research aimed at cures for hearing loss, tinnitus and balance problems, scientists have perfected a laboratory culturing technique that provides a reliable new source of cells critical to understanding certain inner-ear disorders.

An angled view of green cochlea.
Credit: Image courtesy of Marine Biological Laboratory

In a breakthrough that will likely accelerate research aimed at cures for hearing loss, tinnitus, and balance problems, scientists have perfected a laboratory culturing technique that provides a reliable new source of cells critical to understanding certain inner-ear disorders.

Related Articles


The cells, known as hair cells, are the essential sound and balance detectors in the inner ear. Damage to these cells is a key factor in hearing and balance loss, and while birds, fishes, and amphibians can quickly regrow damaged hair cells, humans cannot. Until now, scientists seeking clues to this problem have been hampered by difficult procedures required to gather these cells for their research.

MBL Whitman Investigators Zhengqing Hu and Jeffrey Corwin, both of the University of Virginia School of Medicine, developed a new technique for isolating cells from the inner ears of chicken embryos and growing them in their laboratory. The scientists achieved these results by inducing avian cells to differentiate into hair cells via a process known as mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition.

Hu and Corwin were able to freeze and thaw the cultured cells, then grow new cells from the thawed cultures - a discovery that will make hair cells accessible to more researchers.

The study of hair cells is crucial to understanding hearing loss because hair cells are a precious commodity in humans. We are born with a limited number of these sound detectors in each ear, which can be easily damaged by age, certain illnesses, loud noises, and adverse reactions to medications. Once damaged, the cells do not grow back, causing hearing and balance problems.

"Until now, scientists working to understand many inner ear disorders had to resort to difficult microdissections to gather even small numbers of these cells, which limited the types of research that could be pursued and slowed the pace of discoveries," says Corwin.

The availability of vials of frozen cells that can be induced to form hair cells should remove a significant barrier to progress toward the development of treatments for the more than 20 million Americans who suffer from hearing loss and balance problems.

The research is published in the September 24-28 early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Corwin, a professor of neuroscience at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, is a co-director of the MBL's Biology of the Inner Ear course.

The research was supported by two grants from the National Institutes of Health and by the Grass Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Marine Biological Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Marine Biological Laboratory. "New Cell Culturing Method Pumps Up The Volume." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 September 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070925081429.htm>.
Marine Biological Laboratory. (2007, September 27). New Cell Culturing Method Pumps Up The Volume. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070925081429.htm
Marine Biological Laboratory. "New Cell Culturing Method Pumps Up The Volume." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070925081429.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Melafind: Spotting Melanoma Without a Biopsy

Melafind: Spotting Melanoma Without a Biopsy

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) The MelaFind device is a pain-free way to check suspicious moles for melanoma, without the need for a biopsy. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Battling Multiple Myeloma

Battling Multiple Myeloma

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) The answer isn’t always found in new drugs – repurposing an ‘old’ drug that could mean better multiple myeloma treatment, and hope. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chronic Inflammation and Prostate Cancer

Chronic Inflammation and Prostate Cancer

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) New information that is linking chronic inflammation in the prostate and prostate cancer, which may help doctors and patients prevent cancer in the future. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sickle Cell: Stopping Kids’ Silent Strokes

Sickle Cell: Stopping Kids’ Silent Strokes

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) Blood transfusions are proving crucial to young sickle cell patients by helping prevent strokes, even when there is no outward sign of brain injury. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins