Cartilage is a specialized connective tissue that is smooth and strong, but very flexible. The external ear is made of cartilage, as are the articulating bone surfaces in our joints. Injury to cartilage is a serious problem, and currently, there are no treatments that can fully restore damaged cartilage back to its uninjured state. If stem cells could be used to make cartilage tissue in the lab, this would provide a platform for the discovery of new treatments for cartilage injury and disease. This image is from an experiment in which mouse stem cells (in green) were treated to form a 3D cartilage nodule (pink/purple) in a dish. The image was taken with a confocal microscope and edited to create the psychedelic effect.
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