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Have there been any experiments that have kept neurons alive (stationary), without preserving methods such as freezing? If yes, then how long were the cells kept alive for?

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  • $\begingroup$ Do you mean primary cultured neurons? $\endgroup$ – AliceD Jan 26 '15 at 3:02
  • $\begingroup$ You can look into culture protocols. For example this one suggests 7-10 days for culture maturation, then 2 weeks harvest time (scroll down to the last step). While a protocol won't tell you the longest time, it will give you a lower limit for the longest time. This is about nonhuman neurons of course, but there are also human cultures started from stem cells. $\endgroup$ – rumtscho Jan 26 '15 at 8:39
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According to this paper from 2001, they've got the survival time up to about a year on average. The trick is sealing the neuron inside a permeable membrane so you don't actually risk contamination when feeding. This paper lays out experiments that take many weeks to perform, so as far as I can tell the science of keeping neurons alive has advanced to 'as long as I keep feeding them and nothing bad happens'.

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