Research news

Cells move en masse towards rigid tissues

Durotaxis colectiva

A new phenomenon, collective durotaxis, opens new avenues to control tumor growth and improve wound healing

Durotaxis colectiva. In a study published today in the journal Science, researchers at IBEC have shown that several types of cells are attracted to the most rigid areas of tissues. The discovery contradicts the traditional view that cell movement is guided primarily by variations in the chemical concentration of proteins and ions.

In 2000, researchers at Boston University and the University of Massachusetts first proposed that the stiffness of a tissue could guide the movement of isolated cells. However, subsequent studies showed that this experimental mechanism was very inefficient. “We’ve now found that when cells cooperate with each other, they are able to respond to variations in tissue stiffness so much more efficiently than when they are isolated,” says Raimon Sunyer, first author of the IBEC study.

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Other news

Strengthening links with Singapore

singaporesm

singaporesmThis week IBEC director Josep Samitier, group leaders Elisabeth Engel, Xavier Trepat and Pere Roca-Cusachs, and Ester Sánchez, representing the Strategic Initiatives Unit, are in Singapore to take part in the first IBEC-MBI Joint Symposium, which took place on 26th September.

The event, hosted by the Mechanobiology Institute (MBI), the National University of Singapore’s dedicated centre focused on exploring this emerging field at the interface of cell biology, physics, engineering and computational biology, aimed to foster collaboration between the two institutions.

The programme included sessions on specific fields of research shared by the two centers, namely cell-matrix interactions, regenerative medicine, matrix to nucleus transduction, collective cell migration, and featured speakers from both sides.

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