Nervous system experiments for kids

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Nervous system experiments for kids
In the laboratory of experimental surgery for children Heidelberg, Heidelberg surgery performed experiments. Currently, in addition to basic research on enteric nervous system can also engineering studies on intestinal anastomoses in far cooperating research groups can be realized.Clinical trials are konzipert in collaboration with the Institute for Clinical Research at the University of Heidelberg and organizes multicenter study.

The individual activities of the project are presented below. Of course, there may be only a superficial glimpse granted, but we look forward to every contact that occurs in this way.

Experimental work:

ENS – enteric nervous system, the

Scientific Director: S. Holland Cunz
Employees: ENS team Mannheim (Prof. Dr. KH Schäfer)
Microsystems technology Two Bridges, FH Kaiserslautern
Pathology University of Heidelberg
Physiology Veterinary Medicine – University of Giessen

The intestine is the only organ of its own nervous system, may further mediate the reflexes completely without participation of the brain or spinal cord. Alone in the small intestine of humans, there are over a hundred million nerve cells, about as many as in the spinal cord. In the enteric nervous system of neurotransmitters all groups are represented, which also occur in the brain. Only one to two thousand nerve fibers connecting the brain with the 100 million nerve cells in the small intestine. And those 100 million nerve cells work without further on alone, even if no single link more with the brain besteht.Michael Gershon called the enteric nervous system, a rebel, the only element of the peripheral nervous system, which can refuse the coercion of the brain or spinal cord. This independence makes it a “brain-second”.
There are congenital and acquired diseases of the enteric nervous system, the diverse effects on intestinal function have. Of Hirschsprung’s disease, in which the ganglion cells in the rectum are not created, which is associated with a permanent narrowing of the intestine, thus contributing to massive constipation can lead to intestinal obstruction, is a well-known disease in pediatric surgery, and at the same time a kind of model disease of the enteric nervous system. We conduct research in this field, together with our partners, and have in recent years, much international recognition for the results of our investigations will.

Co-culture of primary mucosal cells and enteric neurons

Co-culture of primary mucosal cells and enteric neurons


Current work:

  • Effects of various growth factors on cells of the enteric nervous system
  • Co-cultures of primary enteric neurons and mucosal cells
  • Transplantation of nerve cells in the aganglionic gut tissue
  • Proteome studies of enteric neurons