Professor publishes on first-ever imaging of cells growing on spherical surfaces

Sep 21, 2012

Shengyuan Yang, Florida Institute of Technology assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, with graduate student Sang Joo Lee, has published a paper on the first-ever imaging of cells growing on spherical surfaces. The paper is published in the online journal, Review of Scientific Instruments, and will appear later in September in the print version.

The potential biomedical applications of the researchers' technique include new strategies and devices for the early detection and isolation of , facilitating new methods of treating . "We also foresee new strategies and techniques to control the differentiation of stem cells and the morphologies and structures of the resulting cells and tissues," said Yang.

The effects of substrate stiffness on cell behaviors have been extensively studied; however, the effects of substrate curvature are not well-documented. The curvature of the surface on which cells adhere can have profound effects on cell behaviors, according to Yang.

"To reveal these cell mechano-biological responses to substrate curvatures, we have introduced a novel, simple, and flexible class of substrates, polyacrylamide gels embedded with micro glass balls ranging in diameter from 5 mm to 2 mm, to . To the best of our knowledge, this is the first experimental attempt to study cell responses to spherically-shaped substrates. Our cell culture experiments imply that this class of substrates, micro glass ball embedded gels, can be useful tools to study cell mechanobiological responses to substrate curvatures, related cell and tissue engineering researches, and biomedical applications, such as and treatment, and the control of stem cell differentiations, for example," said Yang.

This work was supported with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Program. The reviewer of this paper at commented, according to Yang: "This is a clever idea. . . This work has great potentials with high impact."

Explore further: Tarantula toxin is used to report on electrical activity in live cells

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Make or break for cellular tissues

May 16, 2012

In a study about to be published in the European Physical Journal E, French physicists from the Curie Institute in Paris have demonstrated that the behaviour of a thin layer of cells in contact with an unfavourable substr ...

'Micro-rack' measures cell mechanical properties

Mar 02, 2007

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have developed a microelectromechanical system (MEMS) cell-stretcher that can measure the mechanical properties of a living cell, such as its ...

Test of maturity for stem cells

May 06, 2008

Stem cells are extremely versatile: They can develop in 220 different ways, transforming themselves into a correspondingly diverse range of specialized body cells. Biologists and medical scientists plan to ...

Recommended for you

Scientists see how plants optimize their repair

14 hours ago

Researchers led by a Washington State University biologist have found the optimal mechanism by which plants heal the botanical equivalent of a bad sunburn. Their work, published in the Proceedings of the Na ...

Structure of an iron-transport protein revealed

20 hours ago

For the first time, the three dimensional structure of the protein that is essential for iron import into cells, has been elucidated. Biochemists of the University of Zurich have paved the way towards a better ...

Over-organizing repair cells set the stage for fibrosis

21 hours ago

The excessive activity of repair cells in the early stages of tissue recovery sets the stage for fibrosis by priming the activation of an important growth factor, according to a study in The Journal of Ce ...

User comments : 0