Cells Self-Assemble into Tissues


Specially engineered cells arrange themselves into three-dimensional microtissues.

Form and function: Once they’d shown that it was possible to form microstructures, the researchers set out to build one that functioned like a real tissue. Genetically engineered Chinese hamster ovary cells (green) secrete a growth factor that hematopoietic progenitor cells (gray) require for survival. Here the two cell types--decorated with sticky matched strands of DNA--join in five different ratios (top to bottom) to form slightly varied glandlike microstructures. Because they’re linked up with a growth-factor supplier, the hematopoietic progenitor cells can proliferate, elaborating the microstructure over time (left to right).


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