Stem Cells are a Soft Touch for Nano-engineered Biomaterials
News Jun 11, 2014
Stem cells are special because they are essential to the normal function of our organs and tissues. Previous research shows stem cells grown on hard substrates go on to multiply but do not differentiate: a process by which the cells specialize to perform specific functions in the body. In contrast, stem cells grown on softer surfaces do go on to differentiate.
In this new study, published in the journal Nano Letters, the researchers used tiny material patches known as nanopatches to alter the surface of the substrate and mimic the properties of a softer material.
“By changing the surface properties like the shape of the substrate at the nanoscale level, we tricked the stem cells to behave differently,” explains co-author Dr Julien Gautrot, from QMUL’s School of Engineering and Materials Science and the Institute of Bioengineering.
The team tested different sizes of the nanopatches - from 3 microns to 100 nanometres (about one thousandth of the diameter of a hair). The stem cells behaved as if they were on a soft surface when in contact with the smallest patches because they can’t firmly grip them.
Dr Gautrot added: “This development will be useful when there’s a need to create a rigid implant to be inserted into the body. Potentially, such nanopatches could provide a soft touch to the surface of the implant so that cells from the neighbouring tissues are not perturbed by such a hard material.”
‘Incompatible’ Donor Stem Cells Cure Adult Sickle Cell PatientsNews
Doctors at the University of Illinois Hospital have cured seven adult patients of sickle cell disease, an inherited blood disorder primarily affecting the black community, using stem cells from donors previously thought to be incompatible, thanks to a new transplant treatment protocol.READ MORE
Tunable Infrared Filter Aids Soldiers In the FieldNews
Soldiers need to see through airborne obscurants and detect the presence of toxins or other chemicals in the field. To identify those chemicals, they use infrared sensors and spectroscopy. Researchers have now developed a tunable infrared filter made from graphene, removing the need to change goggles for different applications.READ MORE
Molecules Brilliantly IlluminatedNews
Researchers want to use brilliant infrared light to study molecular disease markers in much greater detail. The team has developed a powerful femtosecond light source which emits at wavelengths between 1.6 and 10.2 micrometers. This instrument should make it possible to detect organic molecules present in extremely low concentrations in blood or aspirated air.
Comments | 0 ADD COMMENT
World Congress on Advanced Structural and Molecular Biology 2018
Aug 22 - Aug 23, 2018