News From the Field
Self-assembled Materials Form Mini Stem Cell Lab
March 27, 2008
Northwestern University researchers have discovered a new and unexpected mode of self-assembly involving a polymer (hyaluronic acid) and a small molecule (peptide amphiphiles). When brought together, the two instantly assemble into a flexible but strong sac in which the researchers can grow human stem cells, creating a sort of miniature laboratory. The sacs can survive for weeks in culture, and their membranes are permeable to proteins.
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