Models reveal key factors that determine the structure of tissue

Mathematical models have revealed that the way cells pack into the eyes of the fruit fly shares key features in common with the structure of foam. The researchers behind the model claim that it could be useful to understand the structure of other types of tissue, which could lead to advances in regenerative medicine.

In the past, researchers have based their models on a myriad of different factors such as the bulk of the cell, the cell’s activity and the way the cell grows. ‘That’s a nightmare for quantitative scientists; it’s extremely complicated’ says Sascha Hilgenfeldt, associate professor of engineering sciences and applied mathematics and engineering at Northwestern University, USA.

In contrast, Hilgenfeldt’s team found, as with foam, the structure of the fruit fly’s eyes can be explained by just two factors – the energy stored when the cell’s membrane is stretched, and the energy stored in the ‘glue’ that holds two adjacent cells together. Hilgenfeldt now hopes to test the model on more tissues with a greater variation in the patterns of cells.

Twitter icon
Google icon icon
Digg icon
LinkedIn icon
Reddit icon
e-mail icon

For functionality and security for externalised research, software providers have turned to the cloud, writes Sophia Ktori


Robert Roe looks at the latest simulation techniques used in the design of industrial and commercial vehicles


Robert Roe investigates the growth in cloud technology which is being driven by scientific, engineering and HPC workflows through application specific hardware


Robert Roe learns that the NASA advanced supercomputing division (NAS) is optimising energy efficiency and water usage to maximise the facility’s potential to deliver computing services to its user community


Robert Roe investigates the use of technologies in HPC that could help shape the design of future supercomputers