Researchers from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine used neural stem cells to “patch” up the damaged spinal cord of mice. They then used a specialized technique called calcium imaging to follow the development of new stem cells as they integrated into the host’s nervous system. Once the cells were grafted to the injury, the stem cells formed connections between each other that could be activated by signals from the host. Stimuli from the host brain even elicited responses in neurons below the injury site.
Image: Colorized scanning electron micrograph of a neuron. Thomas Deerinck, UC San Diego National Center for Microscopy and Imaging