Honorable Mention - Mark McClendon

Graduate Student, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering

“Nanofiber Niches for Stem Cells”

Stem cells are quickly becoming a viable strategy to treat all sorts of diseases and injuries. In collaboration with Stanford University scientists, the Stupp Laboratory is combining stem cells with synthetic nanofibers to treat muscular degenerative diseases.

The strategy is to locally deliver stem cells into muscle tissue by encapsulating the stem cells in nanofibers, which makes them stick in place wherever they are injected. The nanofibers will also protect the cells and encourage them to divide into new muscle cells.

In this image, one of these stem cells (purple) rests on top of the nanofibers (brown). It represents the convergence of the most powerful techniques available in regenerative medicine, nanotechnology and stem cell therapy.

Technique: Scanning electron microscopy, false coloring

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