A colony of human embryonic stem cells forms layers according to cell type after exposure to signaling molecules.

Human embryonic stem cells grown on a chip differentiate into different cell types and organize themselves in layers, as shown in a study published in Nature Methods on June 27. The researchers were able to induce the stem cells to differentiate and form the patterns by exposing the cells to concentration gradients of signaling molecules called morphogens.

A. Manfrin et al., “Engineered signaling centers for the spatially controlled patterning of human pluripotent stem cells,” Nature Methods, doi:10.1038/s41592-019-0455-2, 2019.

Chia-Yi Hou is an intern at The Scientist. Email her at chou@the-scientist.com.

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