Stanford scientists have figured out how to separate the dead cells from the living, using magnetic levitation, gently pulling them away from the still-useful survivors without ripping everything apart.
The scientists are eager to show how it can improve everything from cancer research to 3D-printed scaffolds. Take cancer research, for example. In research shared online last month, the scientists suggest that an experimental drug could be dropped onto a clump of cells. As cancerous cells die, assuming they do, the scientists could levitate them away from the rest of the cells as a way to track and quantify their progress.
Then there’s 3D printing: being able to lift dead cells out of whatever organ or tissue you’re trying to synthesize — without scraping the good stuff along with it — would make life much easier for scientists handling the extremely delicate work.
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