Photography

A Biological Web – Networking Units of Life

Jaishankar K. Kutty and Ken Webb

A Biological Web – Networking Units of Life  by Jaishankar K. Kutty and Ken Webb

Human fibroblasts are cells that provide the structure of many tissues. In this image, these cells can be seen spreading within a semi-interpenetrating network (semi-IPN) made of a polymer called polyethylene glycol diacrylate-hyaluronic acid (Pegda-HA). This material is mechanically similar to soft tissues in the human body, such as vocal folds. Such a material could be used as a base material for reconstructing missing or damaged tissue. Because the cells are not only growing but also organizing themselves within the material, semi-IPN materials could be used to restore normal tissue function once implanted into the human body. These materials may be used for a variety of other soft tissue replacements applications.

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