Scutoids are a geometrical solution to three-dimensional packing of epithelia
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An irregular three-dimensional (3D) shape has been discovered that helps explain how tubes of cells form.
Sheets of cells called epithelia line the outer and inner surfaces of most organs in the body, but it is unclear how cells adapt to create a solid curve.
A team that included researchers from the Spanish National Research Council modelled a new 3D shape that cells could adopt to enable epithelial sheets to form a tube. The team named this shape, which has one triangular face, scutoid after the Latin for shield. To confirm the shape exists in living cells, the researchers searched for and found scutoids in the tubular salivary glands of flies.
Understanding how tissue architecture changes during development stages could aid the development of artificial organs.
- Nature Communications 9, 2960 (2018). doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-05376-1