Contact: Daniel Kane
University of California - San Diego
Caption: The translucent materials bridging the dishes are "agarose salt bridges" -- part of the electrochemical cell that UC San Diego undergraduate bioengineering researchers used to subject hydrogels to an electric field. The bioengineers achieved the "Triple Crown" of stem cell culture - they created an artificial environment for stem cells that simultaneously provides the chemical, mechanical and electrical cues necessary for stem cell growth and differentiation. Building better microenvironments for nurturing stem cells is critical for realizing the promises of stem-cell-based regenerative medicine, including cartilage for joint repair, cardiac cells for damaged hearts, and healthy skeletal myoblasts for muscular dystrophy patients. The advance could also lead to better model systems for fundamental stem cell research.
Credit: UC San Diego / Daniel Kane
Usage Restrictions: UC San Diego / Daniel Kane
Related news release: Bioengineers provide adult stem cells with simultaneous chemical, electrical and mechanical cues