View Full Version : Interesting article from Brenda

08-14-2007, 08:05 PM
Brenda e-mailed this earlier and I thought it was interesting and asked her if I could put it on the forum. Hello everyone:

Congratulation and good luck to the stem cell newbies and also to those traveling down that path. Has anyone pre or post stem cell transplant had PFT's, Arterial Blood Gas draw, Spirometry testing? And have your numbers changed? I am sure these questions were previously put forth however I tend to come and go and miss all the good stuff.

Last Friday I was released from the hospital for another tummy infection. We decided that my transplant center should do the surgery on the tummy as the doctors, nurses, and Indian chiefs scare the hell outta me in Michigan. Before that happens I must regain my strength soooo, a physical therapist will come to my home for rehab 3 days a week starting tomorrow. My recovery from this operation will depend on my strength.

The article below is very interesting...may I suggest that for updated data this convention taking place in Japan has a wealth of information. Everyone take very good care of yourselves.

A Big Fat Hug

Putting a Round Cell in a Square Hole
By Aaron Rowe EmailAugust 14, 2007 | 12:59:10 PMCategories: Biotechnology, Conference, Materials Science

CellwellJust like tomatoes, cells thrive when they have a proper trellis to grow on. To grow new organs or create arrays of identical cells for drug testing, we must know how to build a perfect supporting material.

During a session this Monday at the 3rd International Conference on Bioengineering and Nanotechnology in Singapore, Mirjam Ochsner asked a simple but incredibly important question. What shape should the holes in a material be in order to make cells thrive?

Ochsner did not exactly answer that question, but rather offered the scientific community a way to find their own answers. There are many different types of cells, and each one may prefer to be confined into a different shape. If tissue engineering researchers want to know what shape to make the nooks and crannies of a material that will accommodate kidney cells, they can use the new procedure. The same goes for medicinal chemists that want to store thousands of lung cells on the same plate and test a different drug on each one of them.

Scientists have already learned that cells like to settle into nooks and crannies. They are learning what materials offer the best environment for cells to grow on and how rigid the walls should be. Until now, they have not studied how the shape of a container affects the behavior of a cell.

To accomplish their goal, Ochsner and her colleagues at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology developed a new tool. They formed a variety of tiny cavities in a stretchy material. Each well was a different shape and could accommodate a single cell. To test her product, she filled each of those holes with human umbilical vein endothelial cells.

In order to see how her garden of cells responded to being squished into their new homes, the Swiss graduate student examined them with a confocal microscope. She stained the skeleton of each cell green with phalloidin, a chemical from in deathcap mushrooms that is well-known for it's ability to hug onto actin -- a protein that makes up the framework of cells. She stained the nucleus of each cell blue with a less remarkable dye.

Ochsner found several shapes that allowed umbilical cells to flourish. She even created several 3D images of the healthiest cells resting inside of their polymer homes. These accomplishments are secondary to her method itself -- she proved that her approach to studying the effects of shape on cells works... well

To learn more about the events taking place at the 3rd International Conference on Bioengineering and Nanotechnology at the Biopolis in Singapore read on.