Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Findings Could Be Used to Engineer Organs

23.10.2012
Systems biologists have teamed up with mechanical engineers from the University of Texas at Dallas to conduct cell research that provides information that may one day be used to engineer organs.

The research, published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, sheds light on the mechanics of cell, tissue and organ formation. The research revealed basic mechanisms about how a group of bacterial cells can form large three-dimensional structures.

“If you want to create an organism, the geometry of how a group of cells self-organizes is crucial,” said Dr. Hongbing Lu, professor of mechanical engineering and holder of the Louis Beecherl Jr. Chair at UT Dallas and an author of the study. “We found that cell death leads to wrinkles, and the stiffer the cell the fewer wrinkles.”

Organ formation is the result of individual cells teaming with others. The aggregate of the cells and their environment form a thin layer of what is known as a biofilm. These biofilms form 3-D wrinkled patterns.

Senior author Dr. Gürol Süel, now at the University of California, San Diego, and his colleagues noticed dead cells under the wrinkle pattern. They teamed with Lu to discover what came first – the cells’ death or the wrinkling. Lu is an expert in nanomechanics – measuring forces on small objects.

They found that groups of cells dying together within the biofilm resulted in the formation of wrinkles. They also found that the stiffness of the biofilm affected the formation of wrinkles. This is significant because it lays the foundation for the first theory about building a structure in tissues and organs, taking both the biological and mechanical forces into consideration.

“There are ways to control whether a biofilm is soft or stiff, and then you control the wrinkling and the ultimate structure the cells become,” Lu said.

Researchers then controlled the location where cells died and were able to create artificial wrinkle patterns, verifying their findings.

All of the research was done on bacteria known as Bacillus subtilis.

“Bacillus subtilis has many aspects that are similar to other cells,” Lu said. “If we understand how this process works in bacteria, it can open up the door to higher levels of life.”

The next step, Lu said, is to create more organized 3D structures using higher forms of life.

Yingjie Du, a doctoral student and Dr. Zhenxing Hu, a postdoctoral research associate in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science at UT Dallas were part of the engineering team that contributed to this research. Researchers from UT Southwestern Medical Center, and Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya and Universitat Pompeu Fabra, both in Spain, also contributed.

This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health and James S. McDonnell Foundation.

LaKisha Ladson | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.UTDallas.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht A novel synthetic antibody enables conditional “protein knockdown” in vertebrates
20.08.2018 | Technische Universität Dresden

nachricht Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves
17.08.2018 | Leibniz Universität Hannover

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: It’s All in the Mix: Jülich Researchers are Developing Fast-Charging Solid-State Batteries

There are currently great hopes for solid-state batteries. They contain no liquid parts that could leak or catch fire. For this reason, they do not require cooling and are considered to be much safer, more reliable, and longer lasting than traditional lithium-ion batteries. Jülich scientists have now introduced a new concept that allows currents up to ten times greater during charging and discharging than previously described in the literature. The improvement was achieved by a “clever” choice of materials with a focus on consistently good compatibility. All components were made from phosphate compounds, which are well matched both chemically and mechanically.

The low current is considered one of the biggest hurdles in the development of solid-state batteries. It is the reason why the batteries take a relatively long...

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A novel synthetic antibody enables conditional “protein knockdown” in vertebrates

20.08.2018 | Life Sciences

Metamolds: Molding a mold

20.08.2018 | Information Technology

It’s All in the Mix: Jülich Researchers are Developing Fast-Charging Solid-State Batteries

20.08.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>