A cellular Van Gogh
When muscle precursor cells fuse, they happen to form the swirling patterns shown here, unmistakably reminiscent of Van Gogh’s painting, The Starry Night. In these microscopic whorls, their cell nuclei can be seen in cyan, the actin cytoskeleton in blue, and, in yellow, a protein indicating the formation of new muscle fibres. The cells are grown on an ultra-nutritious medium – Matrigel – that serves as a support for them. Their behaviour is subsequently studied with the aim of developing innovative biomaterials, which can be used as dressings to fill the wounds left by deep tissue injuries. The challenge is to find new therapeutic solutions for the management of chronic or complex lesions, such as diabetic wounds and bullet wounds, and for the improvement of symptoms related to muscular dystrophy. This image is a winner of the 2021 La preuve par l'image (LPPI) competition.