【科学家发现新型3D形状,避免细胞聚集时能量流失】

【科学家发现新型3D形状,避免细胞聚集时能量流失】科学家通过研究一组能够产生胚胎的细胞,发现了新的组织形状。当它们弯曲并聚集时,会在人体器官及血管内形成一个三维形状。这种新的形状,被称为鳞状体,允许上皮细胞以最有效的方式组织,使得细胞在维持能量的同时保持最大的稳定性。

 

Scientists spot a new shape: Newly identified 3D form called the 'scutoid' lets cells pack together without wasting energy

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Researchers have discovered a new geometric shape that’s been hiding in plain sight.

 

A team studying the cells that give rise to embryos and can be found lining our organs and blood vessels pinpointed a three-dimensional shape that occurs as they bend and pack together.

 

The new shape, dubbed the scutoid, allows these epithelial cells to organize with the most efficiency, as opposed to the column or bottle-like shapes scientists previously attributed to this process.

 

Epithelial cells are the building blocks of embryonic development, and must endure the twisting and packing that happens as organs form.

 

In the new study, the researchers found the process relies on a previously undescribed shape, allowing cells to maintain maximum stability while conserving energy.

To get to the bottom of its nature, the researchers used computational modelling based on Voronoi diagramming.

‘During the modelling process, the results we saw were weird,’ said Javier Buceta, from Lehigh University.

‘Our model predicted that as the curvature of the tissue increases, columns and bottle-shapes were not the only shapes that cells may develop.

‘To our surprise the additional shape didn’t even have a name in math. One does not normally have the opportunity to name a new shape.’

The team analyzed the three-dimensional packing of tissues in different animals, and found they adopted shapes predicted by the model.

They’re calling the newly identified shape the scutoid after the shield-like scutellum of a beetle’s thorax.

‘We have unlocked nature’s solution to achieving efficient epithelial bending,’ Buceta says.

According to the researchers, the shape makes for the most energy-efficient method of cell organization.

It was previously thought the cells take on a columnar or bottle-like shape as they pack together.

‘In addition to this fundamental aspect of morphogenesis, the ability to engineer tissues and organs in the future critically relies on the ability to understand, and then control, the 3D organization of cells,’ the authors wrote in the study.

The discovery could prove beneficial in tissue engineering, the researchers say.

‘For example,’ Buceta says, ‘if you are looking to grow artificial organs, this discovery could help you build a scaffold to encourage this kind of cell packing, accurately mimicking nature’s way to efficiently develop tissues.’

 

 

 

 

 

 

原文链接:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-6001033/Scientists-spot-new-shape-3D-form-called-scutoid-lets-cells-pack-without-wasting-energy.html


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