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September 7, 2004

Extreme Stretch-Growth: Pushing Neurons’ Physiological Limits Provides Researchers with
New Ways to Repair Nerve Damage


Axon tracts stretch-grown to 5 cm. Axon tracts (middle) bridge two populations of neurons (top and bottom).

Electron microscopy of stretch-grown axons. Scanning electron micrographs illustrating a small fascicle comprised of axons approximately 100-250nm in diameter (A and B). Fasciculation of axons occurs during the elongation process as smaller bundles and individual axons coalesce and adhere to one another forming larger bundles similar to the one depicted here. Scale bars = 10mm for A, 1mm for B. Transmission electron micrograph of cross sections near the center of axons fascicles in non-stretch conditions (C) and axons stretched to a length of 5cm in 14 days (D), showing no change in axon cytoskeletal structures.
Scale bars = 500nm. 87x110mm (150 x 150 DPI)

Credit: B. Pfister et al./The Journal of Neuroscience 24(36):7978-83

Reproduced with permission from The Journal of Neuroscience, ©2004 by the Society for Neuroscience.

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