Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Research Reveals How Materials Direct Cell Response

19.04.2005


The body treats implanted medical devices – including everything from titanium hip replacements and blood vessel grafts – as invaders.



Cells surround and attack foreign material, resulting in an inflammatory response. This unfriendly reaction prevents implants from integrating into the body and functioning as well as they could.

While implanted biomaterials can be designed with different surface chemistries and roughness to influence inflammatory responses, the process is not well understood. Now, researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology have discovered how cells “sense” differences in biomaterial surface chemistry. These differences in communication between the cell and the biomaterial result in changes in cell behavior, according to findings published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).


In addition to explaining how biomaterials influence cells, the findings could be used to develop new classes of materials to improve device integration and function. For example, these findings could be used to direct responses in stem cells, controlling their differentiation into mature, functional cell types.

The research was lead by Andrés García, an associate professor in the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering and the Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience at Georgia Tech. Benjamin Keselowsky, a post doctoral fellow in Mechanical Engineering, and David Collard, an associate professor in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Georgia Tech, also collaborated on the project.

“From a molecular perspective, we now have a better idea of how cells interact with materials and how materials can direct cell responses,” García said. “And now that we understand that, it may be possible to engineer novel, rationally-designed biomaterials that can control those interactions.”

Cells interact with biomaterials using specialized adhesion proteins. These adhesion proteins on the cell bind to target proteins adsorbed on the biomaterial surface. In addition to anchoring cells, these adhesion proteins trigger signals that control many cell functions, including growth and protein production. An important feature of these adhesion proteins is that they only recognize a small number of target proteins.

“That’s how the cell makes sense of a very complicated environment like the body,” García said.

García and his group showed that the biomaterial surface chemistry altered the types of adhesion proteins that cells used to adhere to the biomaterial. As the surface chemistry of the material changed, so did the types of adhesion receptors that the cells used for binding. These differences in the binding of adhesion proteins changed the signals in the cell and resulted in very different cellular responses.

“The idea is that different adhesion proteins do different things by triggering different signals,” García said. “By controlling which adhesion proteins the cell is using to bind to a material, we can control what the cell does and the quality of its interaction with the material.”

These investigators are now focusing on directing stem cells into specific cell types and determining whether these engineered biomaterials integrate better into the body.

The Georgia Institute of Technology is one of the nation’s premiere research universities. Ranked among U.S. News & World Report’s top 10 public universities, Georgia Tech educates more than 16,000 students every year through its Colleges of Architecture, Computing, Engineering, Liberal Arts, Management and Sciences. Tech maintains a diverse campus and is among the nation’s top producers of women and African-American engineers. The Institute offers research opportunities to both undergraduate and graduate students and is home to more than 100 interdisciplinary units plus the Georgia Tech Research Institute. During the 2003-2004 academic year, Georgia Tech reached $341.9 million in new research award funding.

Megan McRainey | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.icpa.gatech.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht How brains surrender to sleep
23.06.2017 | IMP - Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pathologie GmbH

nachricht A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation
22.06.2017 | Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>