Now in our 13th year of bringing you beautiful imagery from biomedical science every day

Search the archive of over 4000 images


Nanoparticles promoting production of bone from stem cells

01 May 2022


Able to self-replicate and give rise to different tissue types, stem cells are at the heart of many techniques in cutting-edge biomedical research, including personalised studies of disease and regenerative medicine. While obviously critical during development and growth, adults also possess some populations of stem cells, providing replacements for routine repairs. Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) are adult stem cells that can produce multiple cell types, from bone and cartilage to fat and muscle. To encourage and direct this differentiation, researchers have recently developed nanoparticles (pictured, in green) with very specific properties, stable and porous; these are taken up by hMScs (in magenta) and induce them to form bone cells. When the nanoparticles are loaded with dexamethasone, a drug known to promote differentiation into bone, the effect is even stronger, suggesting that such techniques could be developed as a means of delivering drugs to guide the fate of hMSCs.

Written by Emmanuelle Briolat

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 with translations by the University of Valencia.