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The «dancing» of the cells

By 7 de November de 2011November 18th, 2020No Comments
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The «dancing» of the cells

This image, which features on the November cover of the high-impact journal Trends in Cell Biology, illustrates work by researchers from Barcelona's Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC), who collaborated with Harvard investigators earlier this year to come up with a brand new concept in biology, plithotaxis.

The collaboration aimed to understand how the movement of each cell of a group determines mass migration, a mechanism intrinsic to processes such as tissue regeneration and cancer metastasis. “We had long suspected that each cell exerts force not only upon its extracellular matrix but also upon neighbouring cells,” explains IBEC group leader Xavier Trepat.

The image shows the cytoskeleton or ‘scaffold’ of a group of migrating epithelial cells (the epithelium is a membrane of one or more layers of cells that covers most of the surfaces in the body, including the organs). Some of the cells are highlighted using colour-coding to depict how differences in forces can exist within the sheet.

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