Mimicking heart tissue and understanding the spatial development of neurons on the cover of Issue 9

In this month’s issue we have a bumper crop of review articles on topics as varied as nanomedicine for brain repair, giant vesicles as cell models, the effects of curcumin and analogues on breast cancer and altering stem cell behaviour through engineering their microenvironments.

Integrative Biology coverWe also have several HOT articles in the issue, including the outside front cover article by Andre Levchenko and colleagues.  They have used autologous cardiosphere-derived cells and a nanopatterned hydrogel to overcome some of the difficulties associated with stem cell-based methods for heart tissue repair.  Their matrix was found to closely mimic the ECM and  ‘dramatically enhanced’ cardiomyogenesis.

Nanopatterned cardiac cell patches promote stem cell niche formation and myocardial regeneration
Deok-Ho Kim, Kshitiz, Rachel R. Smith, Pilnam Kim, Eun Hyun Ahn, Hong-Nam Kim, Eduardo Marbán, Kahp-Yang Suh and Andre Levchenko
DOI: 10.1039/C2IB20067H

Integrative Biology cover artworkThe inside front cover features work from Joshua Maurer et al who have used self-assembled monolayers to explore whether environment or predetermined factors control axonal development.  They show that a critical factor is environmental – rather than a preprogrammed molecular event – which is the length that a developing neurite is allowed to grow to.

Spatial confinement instigates environmental determination of neuronal polarity
Dawn M. Johnson,  Jad P. Abi-Mansour and Joshua A. Maurer
DOI: 10.1039/C2IB20126G

Don’t forget, our cover articles are free to access for 6 weeks – just sign in with your RSC Publishing Personal account.

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