BPoD has moved!

BPoD has recently changed our domain name - we can now be found at bpod.org.uk

Please update your bookmarks!

Now in our 12th year of bringing you beautiful imagery from biomedical science every day

Search the archive of over 4000 images

23 April 2014

Herding Cells

Migration of large groups of cells plays an important role in many biological processes, from embryonic development to tissue repair. It’s an ability that relies largely on between-cell signalling. Now, researchers are using electricity to hijack such signalling and control the movement of cell collectives. They are, in short, herding cells. By applying an electrical current, they orchestrated the flow of a single layer of epithelial cells – the type that make up the outer layer of skin and line most organs and bodily cavities such as the stomach or urinary tract. The video shows a cell sheet migrating normally until the electric field is switched on, persuading the cells to change direction. This is more than a cool trick: it could lead to better control of cell migration in tissue engineering, for example, or 'smart' bandages that use electrical stimulation to accelerate wound healing.

Written by Daniel Cossins

Search The Archive

Submit An Image

Follow on Tumblr

Follow on Instagram

What is BPoD?

BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC Laboratory of Medical Sciences until Jul 2023, it is now run independently by a dedicated team of scientists and writers. The website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biology, and its influence on medicine. The ever-growing archive of more than 4000 research images documents over a decade of progress. Explore the collection and see what you discover. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

Read More

BPoD is also available in Catalan at www.bpod.cat with translations by the University of Valencia.