Suit Your Cell: Designing Custom Biomaterials

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This image, submitted by Asha K. Patel of the Anderson Laboratory at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT, shows sixteen polymer spots from an automated screening experiment.

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Asha K. Patel, Daniel G. Anderson, Robert S. Langer, Morgan R. Alexander, Chris N. Denning, Martyn C. Davies
Koch Institute at MIT and University of Nottingham

Developing materials for biotechnology is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Different cell types behave in different ways depending on the materials they interact with.

This composite image shows how heart cells (fibrous images, e.g., row 2, column 1) and stem cells (spotted images, e.g., row 1, column 3) respond to various synthetic polymers deposited onto microscopic arrays. After testing hundreds of chemical combinations, the most promising candidates are selected to develop tailor-made materials for biomedical research and clinical applications.

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Asha Patel describes the stories behind her award-winning image.