Research news

Cell collisions reveal a new type of wave

Researchers at the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) have observed, for the first time, mechanical waves that form after collisions between cellular tissues.

After a collision, cells are pushed and deformed into waves that travel at a speed of three millimeters a day. This unexpected behavior defies what we know about cellular dynamics, and could be relevant to understand embryonic development or metastasis.

Mechanical waves – such as seismic waves, sound, or waves in the sea – are a phenomenon easily explained by the laws of physics: when two particles collide, a wave travels through the surrounding material.

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Other news

FUNDALUCE grant for IBEC research into vision restoration

IBEC group leader and ICREA professor Pau Gorostiza has won the research grant ‘FUNDALUCE 2016’ for a project that aims to develop prosthetic molecular switches that could replace degenerated photoreceptors in the retina to restore vision.

“Fotoconmutadores covalentes para el control remoto de receptores endógenos”, which will be carried out with collaborators at IQAC-CSIC, the Universidad Miguel Hernández, Universidad de Alcalá de Henares and the Instituto de Neurociencias de Alicante, proposes the concept of nanoprosthesis: that if a functional characteristic of an organ or tissue is regulated by a given receptor, it should be possible to use directed covalent photoswitches to control that particular receptor with light, thereby manipulating their function.

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