Eva Rodansky, Senior Research Technician (Higgins laboratory), Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, University of Michigan Medical School
In Crohn's disease, the intestine is often narrowed by strictures that are formed by fibrosis of the tissue. Such strictures can lead to blockage of the intestine, a serious complication. The activity of specialized cells called myofibroblasts play a major role in fibrosis and stricture formation. This image portrays the anguish of the myofibroblast of the colon straining against a fixed, stiff matrix. Its environment is putting constant stress and fixed resistance upon it, yet it doesn't waver in its constant effort to strain against its shackles. The Promethean, anguished efforts of the myofibroblast remind us of the struggle to persist in difficult environments.