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

Search the archive of over 4000 images

3D bio-scaffold with magnetic nanoparticles to control cell growth for tissue repair and regeneration

20 January 2023

Lining Up

Just as fastidious gardeners might erect a trellis to guide their plants, tissue engineers build microscopic scaffolds to support and steer cell development. To overcome the challenges of precise construction at tiny scales, researchers have been experimenting with imbuing the materials with magnetic properties, which might mean the pieces could be aligned by an external magnetic field. A new study aimed to develop a form of injectable 3D hydrogel (a material that supports cell growth), with rod-shaped microgels containing magnetic nanoparticles. The nanoparticles, made of an iron oxide called maghemite, let researchers create a carefully aligned structure of rods (red in the video, with both parallel and perpendicular arrangements) over which mouse fibroblasts (connective tissue, green and blue) can grow. Tweaking the magnetic field strength or orientation enabled control over the scaffold setup, highlighting the potential of this approach for steering the growth of cells for regeneration and repair.

Written by Anthony Lewis

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.