Wound healing appears generally a banal event, but in a certain proportion of cases it evolves inappropriately in hypertrophic scars resulting in skin and organ deformations. This is due to an excess of wound contraction, a phenomenon that generally helps to close the wound. Hypertrophic scarring is observed frequently in burned patients.
For the past 30 years, Professor Giulio Gabbiani and his team are interested in the role of myofibroblasts in wound contraction. Myofibroblasts, specialized fibroblasts neo expressing the protein alpha-smooth muscle actin, are instrumental in wound contraction during normal wound healing. Tissue shortening is then stabilized by synthesis of extracellular matrix, collagen in particular. More precisely, alpha-smooth muscle actin within myofibroblasts becomes organized in filamentous bundles, called stress fibers, that allow the retractile movement producing wound contraction. During hypertrophic scarring, skin deformations depend on the inappropriate action of these stress fibers that for unknown reasons persist even after the epithelialization of the wound.
The team of the University of Geneva has isolated a sequence of alpha-smooth muscle actin that once injected in isolated myofibroblasts inhibits their contraction. Moreover, the same sequence applied to an experimental wound diminishes significantly wound contraction and skin deformation. Based on these results Giulio Gabbiani and his team suggest that this alpha-smooth muscle actin sequence has a potential therapeutic activity. The pharmaceutical industry UCB-Bioproducts has patented this sequence and is working on the production of commercial preparation. The clinical tests should start approximately at the beginning of next year. This discovery is the outcome of a 30 year long research.
Giulio Gabbiani | alphagalileo
Investigators may unlock mystery of how staph cells dodge the body's immune system
22.09.2017 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Monitoring the heart's mitochondria to predict cardiac arrest?
21.09.2017 | Boston Children's Hospital
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
22.09.2017 | Life Sciences
22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering
22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy