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

IBEC’s participation at B·Debate


Xavier Rubies, head of IBEC’s Technology Transfer unit, took part in last week’s B · Debate conference on “Fighting Blindness. Future Opportunities and Challenges for Visual Restoration”, organized by the Barcelona Macula Foundation in collaboration with the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) and LEITAT.

IBEC's participation at B·Debate

Xavier took part in the “From Bench to Bedside” round table, where he explained the process of bringing research results to market. The other speakers agreed with his position that in order to achieve effective results, it’s necessary to start by looking at demand, and then to lead the transfer of projects according to the needs of the market.

This B · Debate conference, an initiative of Biocat and Obra Social “la Caixa”, aimed to explore the potential of new therapeutic approaches for retinal dystrophies, combining nanotechnology, regenerative medicine, stem cells, gene therapy, genomics, bioengineering, photonics and optogenetics.

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