Patterns on extremely small fibres: Study pushes regenerative medicine another step forward

April 17, 2013

Researchers at the MIRA research institute have succeeded in imprinting microscopically small shapes on the surfaces of miniscule fibres. They were able to create all kinds of patterns on the surfaces of fibres just six micrometres in diameter. These fibres can be used to steer stem cell development in a specific direction. For instance, if you want to create bone cells then it is best to use fibres with a ribbed pattern. This research was recently published in the scientific journal Small.

Stem cells are capable of developing into any type of cell. One of the factors that determines which type of cell they become is the structure of the on which these stem cells are located. So you can steer the development of stem cells by carefully selecting the type of surface on which they are placed.

Researchers at the University of Twente have now managed to imprint standard, selected patterns on the miniscule polymer on which stem cells are cultured. Using a special "stamping" technique, known as NanoImprint , they were able to imprint microscopically small patterns, such as ridges, and pillars, on self-made fibres just six micrometres in diameter.

Tool

These fibres provide researchers with a new tool for getting stem cells to differentiate into specific cell types. For the purposes of this study, the researchers used adult human stem cells. Lorenzo Moroni, one of the scientists involved, believes that these fibres can be used to systematically investigate the effect of various substrates. One of the study's findings was that fibres with a ribbed pattern produced the best .

37 degrees Centigrade

Not only were the researchers able to impress patterns on these miniscule fibres, but they managed to do so at physiological temperatures (around 37 degrees Celsius). This is an enormous advantage in terms of future applications, as it means that this method is also suitable for all kinds of biological materials.

The article is titled "A Fast Process for Imprinting Micro and Nano Patterns on Electrospun Fiber Meshes at Physiological Temperatures."

Explore further: New study suggests stem cells sabotage their own DNA to produce new tissues

More information: A Fast Process for Imprinting Micro and Nano Patterns on Electrospun Fiber Meshes at Physiological Temperatures, Small, 2013.

Related Stories

Origin of cells associated with nerve repair discovered

November 15, 2010

Scientists have discovered the origin of a unique type of cell known for its ability to support regeneration in the central nervous system. Their findings, published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy ...

The extracellular matrix

December 12, 2011

NPL scientists have created a functional model of the native extracellular matrix which provides structural support to cells to aid growth and proliferation and could lead to advances in regenerative medicine.

Sweet news for stem cell's 'Holy Grail'

February 26, 2013

(Phys.org)—Scientists have used sugar-coated scaffolding to move a step closer to the routine use of stem cells in the clinic and unlock their huge potential to cure diseases from Alzheimer's to diabetes.

Recommended for you

Fast times and hot spots in plasmonic nanostructures

August 4, 2015

The ability to control the time-resolved optical responses of hybrid plasmonic nanostructures was demonstrated by a team led by scientists in the Nanophotonics Group at the Center for Nanoscale Materials including collaborators ...

Study explores nanoscale structure of thin films

August 4, 2015

The world's newest and brightest synchrotron light source—the National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II) at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory—has produced one of the first publications ...

Meet the high-performance single-molecule diode

July 29, 2015

A team of researchers from Berkeley Lab and Columbia University has passed a major milestone in molecular electronics with the creation of the world's highest-performance single-molecule diode. Working at Berkeley Lab's Molecular ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.