Removing the meninges from the brain

Today in the lab I spent a long time dissecting some brains. During the dissection, I need to remove the meninges before I can proceed to collect the parts of the brain that are used for glial cell culture. Removing the meninges is important in order to avoid contamination of my cell cultures with meningeal fibroblasts.

Timelapse: Removing the meninges from a tiny brain.

What are the meninges?

The meninges are three membranes that envelop the brain and spinal cord. They are called the dura mater, the arachnoid mater, and the pia mater. They are primarily there to protect the central nervous system from anything external that tries to get inside.