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 March 28, 2015 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 March 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) — A popular class of antibiotic can leave patients in severe pain and even result in permanent nerve damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) — In rare bipartisan harmony, congressional leaders pushed a $214 billion bill permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts toward House passage Thursday, moving lawmakers closer to resolving a problem that has plagued them for years. (March 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
What's Different About This Latest Ebola Vaccine

What's Different About This Latest Ebola Vaccine

Newsy (Mar. 26, 2015) — A whole virus Ebola vaccine has been shown to protect monkeys exposed to the virus. Here&apos;s what&apos;s different about this vaccine. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
HIV Outbreak Prompts Public Health Emergency In Indiana

HIV Outbreak Prompts Public Health Emergency In Indiana

Newsy (Mar. 26, 2015) — Indiana Gov. Mike Pence says he will bring additional state resources to help stop the epidemic. 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:

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