Investigation of brain structure and function can be conducted using various approaches from whole organism behavior to the activity of individual molecules. Within this broad scope of investigation, the fundamental unit of brain function is the individual neuron in either the central or peripheral nervous system (CNS/PNS). This individual cellular nature stands in contrast to other bodily functions such as the circulatory system where the constituent cells form a support system for the continuous flow of blood through the body. A similarly continuous or reticular nature for neurons was proposed by Camillo Golgi who in 1873 in his small apartment kitchen developed a more complete means of observing neuronal structure that he named “La reazione nera” or “the black reaction,” the Golgi stain (Pannese E., J History Neurosci 8(2):132–140, 1999). Using Golgi’s method, Santiago Ramón y Cajal established convincing evidence that neurons were not fused together in the fashion proposed by Golgi but instead functioned as independent cellular units. Ramón y Cajal’s view of neurons eventually gained widespread acceptance with both men receiving the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1906.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEngineering Biomaterials for Neural Applications
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9783031114090
ISBN (Print)9783031114083
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022


  • Axon polarization
  • Campenot chamber
  • Chemotaxis
  • Differential fluid pressure
  • Glass microfluidic
  • Injection molding
  • Microfluidic device
  • Neuronal differentiation
  • Polydimethylsiloxane
  • Silicon
  • Stereolithography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine
  • General Engineering


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