Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Small Step Towards Growing Tissue in the Lab


University of Adelaide mathematicians have devised a method for identifying how cell clusters have formed by analysing an image of the cluster.

Published in the Journal of Theoretical Biology, their mathematical modelling tool will be useful in helping biologists and tissue engineers to move towards growing human tissue such as liver in the laboratory.

“When any tissue or organ develops, the cells have to organise themselves into the correct structure,” says Dr Edward Green, researcher in the University’s School of Mathematical Sciences. “This self-organisation process is important in regenerative medicine where scientists are trying to grow tissues in the laboratory. Getting the right structure is key to ensuring the tissue is viable and functional.

“We know that the control of the organisation process is very complex, and it's still not well understood, which is why we're using modelling to explore simple examples like cluster formation. We looked at two main ways of producing cell clusters – by attraction through chemical and other signals and by proliferation (cells dividing).

“The idea behind our research is that, for any particular cell type, if you are trying to get cells to organise in certain ways, you need to know how they are behaving. We show how you might be able to analyse this using a combination of models and image analysis.”

The paper introduces a quantitative measure of the pattern of clustering from an image, producing a statistic called the ‘pair correlation function’ which shows the relationship between cells.

“The two clustering mechanisms produce different patterns. In some cases you can spot the differences simply by looking, but the pair correlation function allows you to distinguish them, even when you can’t see any obvious differences between the pictures by eye,” says Dr Green.

They validated their mathematical model experimentally using cells with known clustering mechanisms in collaboration with Queensland University of Technology.

“Our tool gives a basic understanding of the process in clustering,” says co-author Dr Ben Binder, Senior Lecturer in the School of Mathematical Sciences. “It will be useful in assessing what factors may be used to enhance the process of growing cells.

“Next steps will be feeding experimental data back into the model to simulate biological processes. Instead of running lengthy and expensive experiments, we can look at the potential effects of different factors through the computer.”

Media Contact:

Dr Edward Green
School of Mathematical Sciences
The University of Adelaide
Phone: +61 8 8313 1081
Mobile: +61 (0)439 191 932

Dr Ben Binder
Senior Lecturer
School of Mathematical Sciences
The University of Adelaide
Phone: +61 8 8313 3244
Mobile: +61 (0) 429 401 874

Robyn Mills | newswise
Further information:

Further reports about: Green Senior Tissue factors mathematical mechanisms structure

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Two decades of training students and experts in tracking infectious disease
27.11.2015 | Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften Hamburg

nachricht Increased carbon dioxide enhances plankton growth, opposite of what was expected
27.11.2015 | Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Climate study finds evidence of global shift in the 1980s

Planet Earth experienced a global climate shift in the late 1980s on an unprecedented scale, fuelled by anthropogenic warming and a volcanic eruption, according to new research published this week.

Scientists say that a major step change, or ‘regime shift’, in the Earth’s biophysical systems, from the upper atmosphere to the depths of the ocean and from...

Im Focus: Innovative Photovoltaics – from the Lab to the Façade

Fraunhofer ISE Demonstrates New Cell and Module Technologies on its Outer Building Façade

The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE has installed 70 photovoltaic modules on the outer façade of one of its lab buildings. The modules were...

Im Focus: Lactate for Brain Energy

Nerve cells cover their high energy demand with glucose and lactate. Scientists of the University of Zurich now provide new support for this. They show for the first time in the intact mouse brain evidence for an exchange of lactate between different brain cells. With this study they were able to confirm a 20-year old hypothesis.

In comparison to other organs, the human brain has the highest energy requirements. The supply of energy for nerve cells and the particular role of lactic acid...

Im Focus: Laser process simulation available as app for first time

In laser material processing, the simulation of processes has made great strides over the past few years. Today, the software can predict relatively well what will happen on the workpiece. Unfortunately, it is also highly complex and requires a lot of computing time. Thanks to clever simplification, experts from Fraunhofer ILT are now able to offer the first-ever simulation software that calculates processes in real time and also runs on tablet computers and smartphones. The fast software enables users to do without expensive experiments and to find optimum process parameters even more effectively.

Before now, the reliable simulation of laser processes was a job for experts. Armed with sophisticated software packages and after many hours on computer...

Im Focus: Quantum Simulation: A Better Understanding of Magnetism

Heidelberg physicists use ultracold atoms to imitate the behaviour of electrons in a solid

Researchers at Heidelberg University have devised a new way to study the phenomenon of magnetism. Using ultracold atoms at near absolute zero, they prepared a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

Fraunhofer’s Urban Futures Conference: 2 days in the city of the future

25.11.2015 | Event News

Gluten oder nicht Gluten? Überempfindlichkeit auf Weizen kann unterschiedliche Ursachen haben

17.11.2015 | Event News

Art Collection Deutsche Börse zeigt Ausstellung „Traces of Disorder“

21.10.2015 | Event News

Latest News

Siemens to supply 126 megawatts to onshore wind power plants in Scotland

27.11.2015 | Press release

Two decades of training students and experts in tracking infectious disease

27.11.2015 | Life Sciences

Coming to a monitor near you: A defect-free, molecule-thick film

27.11.2015 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>