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The world is not flat: Exploring cells and tissues in three dimensions
Date:10/19/2010

ted by the movement of fluids over cell surfaces and has been found to play an important role in cellular differentiation, development and function. Intriguingly, experimental research carried out by Nickerson and her team has implicated low-fluid shear environments in regulating the infectious disease potential of certain human pathogens. Specifically, conditions encountered by pathogens in certain areas of the gastrointestinal, respiratory and urogenital tracts represent low fluid shear environments that have the potential to alter the outcome of the infectious disease process.

Over the past decade, the Nickerson group and colleagues have published their 3-D models of the small and large intestine, lung, placenta, neuronal tissue and vaginal epithelium. Such models offer exciting new insights into cell proliferation, differentiation and immune function, and are providing a platform to understand normal tissue homeostasis and transition to disease. Furthermore, these 3-D models have also unveiled new ways that pathogens cause disease and have expanded the range of pathogens that can be studied in vitro. Essential to this line of research, 3-D models respond to infection in important ways that mimic the infected host.

These studies include infection of 3-D intestinal tissues by food-borne bacterial and viral pathogens including Salmonella typhimurium and norovirus, respectively, and infection of 3-D lung tissues by the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Nickerson stresses that 3-D tissue modeling has opened the door to examining a variety of host-pathogen interactions that were previously difficult or impossible to study through conventional means.

Nickerson also sees a promising future for 3-D cell cultures in facilitating the translation of basic science to the clinical setting. She emphasizes that the development and use of a series of increasingly complex 3-D model systems that incorporate multiple cell types will enable th
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Contact: Joe Caspermeyer
joseph.caspermeyer@asu.edu
480-727-0369
Arizona State University
Source:Eurekalert  

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