Scientists at Tufts University have created a 3D brain tissue model that imitates brain function, a revolutionary tool that could be used to study how disease, trauma and treatments affect the brain. The model is a spongy, round scaffold made of silk proteins, a collagen-based gel and rat neurons. "They've been able to repeat the highest level of function of neurons. It's the best model I've seen," said nanoscience technology expert James J. Hickman. Details of the study appear in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.