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The Art in Science

Product Image Cell Waterfall

Cell Waterfall

Song Chen, Graduate Student (Parent laboratory), Life Sciences Institute and Department of Pharmacology, University of Michigan

Cancer metastasis (movement of cancer cells away from the primary tumor to distant sites) is a major cause of cancer-related death. Interactions between the cancer cells and the physical structures of their surrounding environment are known to play a key role in cancer metastasis. This scanning electron micrograph shows a metastatic breast cancer cell migrating on a surface that has been fabricated with nanoscale sawtooth structures. By manipulating this surface and recording cell behavior, we can explore the mechanisms that underlie these physical interactions, with the future goal of learning how to inhibit the metastatic response.