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Scientists guide immune cells with light and microparticles
Date:11/16/2009

ed to manipulate chemical gradients."

The team used two different chemicals, one of which attracted the cells and another that repelled them, to demonstrate how they could direct the neutrophils into moving along a path, either toward or away from the microparticles. They could also examine how the cells responded when there were conflicting signals sent by several of the artificial bacteria.

Chemotaxis the migration of cells based on chemical signals in their environment plays an important role in a number of biological processes and diseases beyond the immune system. "Understanding how cells move in response to chemical stimuli can help us better understand how a single egg develops into a complex organism or how brain cells grow into a network of neurons in a growing embryo, or how cancer cells spread through the body," Kress said. "This technique could give biologists insight into the ways many different types of cells respond to environmental stimuli in a wide range of situations."


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Contact: Suzanne Taylor Muzzin
suzanne.taylormuzzin@yale.edu
203-432-8555
Yale University
Source:Eurekalert  

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