Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How physical environment influences stem cell development

Date:
November 8, 2010
Source:
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Summary:
Recent research reveals how physical qualities -- and not only chemical ones – may have an influence in determining how adult stem cells from the bone marrow develop into differentiated ones. The finding represents an important step in understanding the mechanisms that direct and regulate the specialization of stem cells from their undefined state.

Recent research by a team of scientists from Israel, Germany, and the U.S. has revealed how physical qualities -- and not only chemical ones -- may have an influence in determining how adult stem cells from the bone marrow develop into differentiated ones. The finding represents an important step in understanding the mechanisms that direct and regulate the specialization of stem cells from their undefined state.

Scientists around the world are involved in studying, describing and even manipulating the development of stem cells on their path into becoming specialized cells, such as heart, muscle, brain or any other tissue. This research has tremendous implications for the future utilization of stem cells as a new tool of medical treatment.

In an article published in Nature Physics, Dr. Assaf Zemel of the Institute of Dental Sciences at the Hebrew University and his fellow researchers, Prof. Samuel Safran from the Weizmann Institute of Science, Dr. Florian Rehfeldt from Gottingen University in Germany, and Dr. Andre Brown and Prof. Dennis Discher from the University of Pennsylvania, tell how they have developed a theoretical model and carried out experiments on stem cells to propose a mechanism for the recently discovered sensitivity of stem cell differentiation to the rigidity of their surroundings.

They described the physical changes that take place in stem cells that are layered on supporting foundations of differing rigidities. They showed that on a supporting matrix whose rigidity mimics that of muscle tissue, the cells become elongated and filled with aligned muscle-like fibers. The authors explain how this situation is fundamentally different from the case where the supporting substance is made either softer (to mimic brain tissue) or harder (to mimic bone tissue), in which case the cells adopt more symmetric structures and differentiate into brain and bone cells, respectively.

These findings shed new light on our understanding of the mechanisms that govern the differentiation of stem cells and may have important implications for the design of artificial tissues and the development of novel therapeutic strategies, says Dr. Zemel.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A. Zemel, F. Rehfeldt, A. E. X. Brown, D. E. Discher, S. A. Safran. Optimal matrix rigidity for stress-fibre polarization in stem cells. Nature Physics, 2010; 6 (6): 468 DOI: 10.1038/nphys1613

Cite This Page:

Hebrew University of Jerusalem. "How physical environment influences stem cell development." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100906085156.htm>.
Hebrew University of Jerusalem. (2010, November 8). How physical environment influences stem cell development. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100906085156.htm
Hebrew University of Jerusalem. "How physical environment influences stem cell development." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100906085156.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nigeria Ups Ebola Stakes on 1st Death

Nigeria Ups Ebola Stakes on 1st Death

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Nigerian authorities have shut and quarantined a Lagos hospital where a Liberian man died of the Ebola virus, the first recorded case of the highly-infectious disease in Africa's most populous economy. David Pollard reports Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Running 5 Minutes A Day Might Add Years To Your Life

Running 5 Minutes A Day Might Add Years To Your Life

Newsy (July 29, 2014) According to a new study, just five minutes of running or jogging a day could add years to your life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins