Pulled in Every Direction
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My thesis work revolves around creating a 3-D scaffold for tissue engineering. This image depicts a cell that has been placed in this scaffold. The cell is surrounded on all sides by collagen (not shown). The cell interacts with collagen by forming adhesions. There is a dynamic interaction between the cell and collagen resulting in a tug of war. This causes stress fibers within the cell (depicted in red) that show how the cell is literally being pulled in every direction. These stress fibers signal the nucleus (depicted in blue) and regulate cell behavior. This means that we can control cell behavior simply by engineering an appropriate scaffold.