Sanjay Kumar, a Berkeley Lab faculty scientist in Biological Systems and Engineering (BSE), and Elena Kassianidou, a graduate student working in his lab, are co-authors on a UC Berkeley-led study published in the journal Science which for the first time linked mechanical forces acting on skin cells in a developing organism to the activation of specific genes that make the cells differentiate into more specialized types, such feathers. The researchers grew skin taken from week-old chicken eggs on artificial substrates generated by Kumar and Kassianidou to mimic the stiffness of tissues that underlie the skin in the bird. The work could pave the way to growing artificial skin for grafts that looks like normal human skin with proper spacing of hair follicles and sweat pores. Read more from the UC Berkeley News Center.
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