Thursday, May 13, 2010

Followup on "The World's Smallest Rheologist?"

Twice this week, I should have held off posting for an hour. In both cases, I immediately find another site or alert with some additional relevant info. "Biotechniques" has a report on how the shape of stem cells can alter there performance. The shape was control by microprint different chemicals on the surface, chemicals which selectively altered the adhesion of the cells, thereby forcing a shape onto them. Look at this picture:

Researchers have cultured human stem cells in a variety of shapes and patterns, to control differentiation into osteogenic or adipogenic cell lineages. This immunofluorescence image depicts two different stem cells shapes, a flower and a star. The green color is the actin stress filaments in the cell, the red is the focal adhesions of the cell where the cell attaches to the surface, and the blue is the nucleus.

Specifically, the cells on the left predominantly became bone cells, while the ones on the right became fat cells.

All because of shape, all because the cells are pulling on the surface. How cool is that?

1 comment:

Eric F. Brown said...

You can't call yourself a blogger unless you occasionally jump the gun.