Cells Have Feet and Sticky Fingers - The Discovery of Adhesion Molecules
Tissue engineering requires a basic understanding of how cells interact with one another to form organs. In this seminar students will learn about two families of adhesion molecules: integrins and cadherins. Integrins function as sticky feet, anchoring cells to surfaces. Cadherins, on the other hand, form sticky fingers, which mediate cell-to-cell interaction. We will discuss the guiding principles of each family, provide examples of how family members function in various cell types, and examine their role in several biologic processes. We will learn about molecular and biophysical mechanisms that populations of cells use to rearrange themselves into well-ordered structures. Finally, we will come to understand how this knowledge can be applied to generate artificial bioengineered tissues.