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March 1, 2013

Cells Flowing Like Glass

Artist's representation of epithelial cells (black) approaching a glass transition (blue). Increasingly large groups of cells (green, purple, red) are able to move together more rapidly than the surrounding cells.

Researchers, led by investigators at Harvard University's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and the University of Florida, studied cellular movements at the level of both individual cells and collective groups and discovered that migrating tissues flow very much like colloidal glass.

This research, which was supported in part by the National Science Foundation (grants DMR 10-06546 and DMR 08-20484), will help advance the' understanding of wound healing, cancer metastasis and embryonic development.

To learn more, see the Harvard news release Applied Physicists Discover That Migrating Cells Flow Like Glass. (Date of Image: 2010)

Credit: Courtesy Thomas E. Angelini

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