Researchers at Harvard University in collaboration with French and Finnish academic institutions have managed to 3D-bioprint a brain with the distinctive folds; An essential adaptation for our cognitive development.
Harvard University worked with the CNRS at Aix Marseille Université (France), Institut Mines-Telecom INSERM (France) and the University of Jyväskylä (Finland).
The team then published in Nature Physics what they discovered on the 3D structure of our brains; why the folds in mammalian brains form and do not allow this relatively soft organ to collapse.
Understanding the form of the brain could really help us understand diseases associated with malformations of this structure.
For example, the developmental disorder lissencephaly (smooth brain) means grooves fail to form in fetal development. This rare disease causes the child to fail to thrive, have seizures and struggle with motor control (particularly with breathing).
L. Mahadevan, who led the study, is also a core member of the Wyss Institute at Harvard. The Wyss is also working on organs-on-chips to mimic organs such as the brain in drug testing.