October 21, 2013
Professor Song Li and his research team have shown that physical cues can replace certain chemicals when inducing mature cells back to a pluripotent stage, capable of becoming any cell type in the body.
Li grew fibroblasts cells on surfaces with tiny parallel grooves only 10 micrometers wide and 3 micrometers high. After two weeks growing in chemicals used to reprogram mature cells, the researchers found a four-fold increase in the number of cells that reverted back to an embryonic-like state compared with cells grown on a flat surface. Growing cells in scaffolds of nanofibers aligned in parallel had similar effects.
The study was published online today in Nature Materials.
Read more at the UC Berkeley News Center.