researchers from the university of seville and seville institute of biomedicine have discovered a new shape that’s been dubbed the ‘scutoid’. the shape is adopted by epithelial cells, the building blocks of embryonic development and the cells that line the inside and outside of your body. 

introducing the scutoid, scientists discovery of a brand new shape

image courtesy of  the university of seville and seville institute of biomedicine

 

 

the team studying the cells discovered a three-dimensional shape that occurs as they bend and pack together. the shape of these cells allows them to pack together without wasting energy. until now, these blocks were believed to be prism-shaped or like truncated pyramids. the press release notes that they could be best described as ‘twisted prisms.’ the reason for the shape of these cells is to help it endure the twisting and packing that happens as organs form, offering an architectural stability when a tissue bends.

 

the epithelial cells are the ‘construction blocks’ with which an organism is formed,‘ said university of seville faculty member luisma escudero.they are like pieces of tente or lego from which animals are made.‘ future plans of the university include finding ‘the molecules that cause the cells to adopt the escutoide shape’ which would allow them to apply this knowledge to the creation of artificial tissue and organs.

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