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Stem cells will grow onto 3-D substrates

This 3-D traction force microscopy image shows where and how hard a bone-like cell is pulling on the surrounding gel. The field of regenerative medicine--the process of replacing, engineering or regenerating human cells, tissues or organs to restore or establish normal function--holds great promise, propelled by greater understanding of how stem cells differentiate themselves into many of the body's different cell types. A team of researchers has generated new insight on how a stem cell's environment influences what type of cell it will become. They have shown that whether human mesenchymal stem cells turn into fat or bone cells depends partially on how well they can "grip" the material they are growing in.

Visit Website | Image credit: Sudhir Khetan, University of Pennsylvania