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Human stem cell embedded in a 3D matrix, Cryo SEM

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False-coloured cryogenic scanning electron micrograph (Cryo-SEM) of a single human stem cell (centre of image) embedded within a porous hydrogel matrix. The structure and properties of the hydrogel matrix were designed to mimic those of the cell's native environment in the bone marrow. Imaging stem cells in a 3D environment provide valuable insight into the bidirectional physical interactions between a stem cell and its 3D niche. The hydrogel is composed of thiolated hyaluronic acid cross-linked with poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylate. The diameter of the cell is approximately 15 micrometres. Wellcome Image Awards 2016.


    Credit: Sílvia A Ferreira, Cristina Lopo and Eileen Gentleman, KCL

    Free to use with attribution

    CC BY