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.

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 April 23, 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 April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 22, 2014) Big pharma on the move as Novartis boss, Joe Jimenez, tells Reuters about plans to transform his company via an asset exchange with GSK, and Astra Zeneca shares surge on speculation that Pfizer is looking for a takeover. Joanna Partridge reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is given hands-on demonstrations Tuesday of some of the newest research from DARPA _ the military's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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