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.

Related Articles


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 November 28, 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 November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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