This macro photo complex fibrous architectures was taken by Cambridge PhD candidate Elisabeth Gill. The structures were designed with an electrospinning and 3D printing method that Elisabeth developed for her PhD. 3D-printed support pillars and applied voltage are used to pattern suspended gelatin microfibres with a technique called low-voltage electrospinning patterning.
Elisabeth said: "Being able to design free-spanning protein fibres is of interest for tissue engineering as they can act as a simplistic template for cells to assemble into tissue-like structures. We have utilised such structures to observe the migration of cancer cells in 3D, which models aspects of the environment the cells encounter in the body. A motivation is to develop such models further for fundamental cancer research or as a drug screening application."