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Dutch researchers create microscopic pyramids to cage living cells

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Microscopic pyramid
Microscopic pyramid

A team at the University of Twente in the Netherlands has managed to create a tiny pyramid small enough to house a single living cell. The pyramids were developed using a new 3D micro and nanofabrication technology called "corner lithography," and they allow researchers to better view cells as they would normally behave in a three-dimensional environment — an improvement over the 2D view offered by a petri dish. Because of the pyramid's open sides, two cells close enough together will still interact with each other as they would if the cage wasn't actually there. Researchers believe that the technology could be a useful tool for studying tissue regeneration in the future. And while a microscale pyramid may sound impressive, the technology could see even more improvements in the future, including hollowing out the ribs of the pyramid so that fluids can flow through them in order to provide cells with nutrition.