Form and Function: Using a Curved Surface to Change Cell Behavior

This image, captured by Laura Indolfi of the Edelman Laboratory, shows endothelial cells bending around the surface of a porous matrix.  Researchers have found that such curved surfaces can be used to alter cell behavior.

Laura Indolfi
Edelman Lab, Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology and MIT Koch Institute
Confocal Micrograph

How can scientists correct harmful behaviors in diseased cells?  Many efforts center on delivery of drugs into cells, but here researchers influence the behavior of endothelial cells (red) simply by changing the shape of the surface the cells rest on.

Laura Indolfi explains how and why she captured this image of endothelial cells bending around a curved surface.