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 Controlling phase changes in solids
29.07.2015 | ICFO-The Institute of Photonic Sciences

nachricht Smart Hydrogel Coating Creates “Stick-slip” Control of Capillary Action
28.07.2015 | Georgia Institute of Technology

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Quantum Matter Stuck in Unrest

Using ultracold atoms trapped in light crystals, scientists from the MPQ, LMU, and the Weizmann Institute observe a novel state of matter that never thermalizes.

What happens if one mixes cold and hot water? After some initial dynamics, one is left with lukewarm water—the system has thermalized to a new thermal...

Im Focus: On the crest of the wave: Electronics on a time scale shorter than a cycle of light

Physicists from Regensburg and Marburg, Germany have succeeded in taking a slow-motion movie of speeding electrons in a solid driven by a strong light wave. In the process, they have unraveled a novel quantum phenomenon, which will be reported in the forthcoming edition of Nature.

The advent of ever faster electronics featuring clock rates up to the multiple-gigahertz range has revolutionized our day-to-day life. Researchers and...

Im Focus: Superfast fluorescence sets new speed record

Plasmonic device has speed and efficiency to serve optical computers

Researchers have developed an ultrafast light-emitting device that can flip on and off 90 billion times a second and could form the basis of optical computing.

Im Focus: Unlocking the rice immune system

Joint BioEnergy Institute study identifies bacterial protein that is key to protecting rice against bacterial blight

A bacterial signal that when recognized by rice plants enables the plants to resist a devastating blight disease has been identified by a multi-national team...

Im Focus: Smarter window materials can control light and energy

Researchers in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin are one step closer to delivering smart windows with a new level of energy efficiency, engineering materials that allow windows to reveal light without transferring heat and, conversely, to block light while allowing heat transmission, as described in two new research papers.

By allowing indoor occupants to more precisely control the energy and sunlight passing through a window, the new materials could significantly reduce costs for...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

3rd Euro Bio-inspired - International Conference and Exhibition on Bio-inspired Materials

23.07.2015 | Event News

Clash of Realities – International Conference on the Art, Technology and Theory of Digital Games

10.07.2015 | Event News

World Conference on Regenerative Medicine in Leipzig: Last chance to submit abstracts until 2 July

25.06.2015 | Event News

 
Latest News

Tool making and additive technology exhibition: Fraunhofer IPT at Formnext

31.07.2015 | Trade Fair News

First Siemens-built Thameslink train arrives in London

31.07.2015 | Transportation and Logistics

California 'rain debt' equal to average full year of precipitation

31.07.2015 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>