Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Stem cells are a soft touch for nano-engineered biomaterials

10.06.2014

Scientists from Queen Mary University of London have shown that stem cell behaviour can be modified by manipulating the nanoscale properties of the material they are grown on - improving the potential of regenerative medicine and tissue engineering as a result.

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 specialise 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 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.” 

 

Notes to editors 

The Nanoscale Geometrical Maturation of Focal Adhesions Controls Stem Cell Differentiation and Mechano-Transduction’ will be published by the journal Nano Letters on Monday 9 June 2014.

 

For more information or to arrange interviews with the authors, please contact:

Neha Okhandiar

Public Relations Manager - Science and Engineering

T: +44 (0)207 882 7927

E: n.okhandiar@qmul.ac.uk

Queen Mary University of London                         

Queen Mary University of London is one of the UK's leading research-focused higher education institutions with some 17,840 undergraduate and postgraduate students.

A member of the Russell Group, it is amongst the largest of the colleges of the University of London. Queen Mary’s 4,000staff deliver world class degree programmes and research across 21 academic departments and institutes, within three Faculties: Science and Engineering; Humanities and Social Sciences; and the School of Medicine and Dentistry. 

Queen Mary is ranked 11th in the UK according to the Guardian analysis of the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, and has been described as ‘the biggest star among the research-intensive institutions’ by the Times Higher Education

The College has a strong international reputation, with around 20 per cent of students coming from over 100 countries. Queen Mary has an annual turnover of £300m, research income worth £90m, and generates employment and output worth £600m to the UK economy each year. 

The College is unique amongst London's universities in being able to offer a completely integrated residential campus, with a 2,000-bed award-winning Student Village on its Mile End campus.

Neha Okhandiar

Public Relations Manager - Science and Engineering

Marketing and Communications

Queen Mary University of London

327 Mile End Road, London, E1 4NS

T: +44 (0)207 882 7927

M: +44 (0)788 591 2572

E: n.okhandiar@qmul.ac.uk

W: www.qmul.ac.uk/media

Tw: @QMLsciencehound and @QMUL

Like us on Facebook

Neha Okhandiar | Queen Mary University of London

Further reports about: Differentiation Humanities Nano Relations Science Stem biomaterials diameter differentiate substrates tiny

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Physics, photosynthesis and solar cells
01.12.2016 | University of California - Riverside

nachricht New process produces hydrogen at much lower temperature
01.12.2016 | Waseda University

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>