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Professor Rein V. Ulijn's Work on "Molecular Cages" Featured in C&E News

The work of Professor Rein V. Ulijn, which deals with "a carbohydrate-based molecule that can surround and strangle bone cancer cells by self-assembling into a tangled web of nanofibers," was recently featured in Chemical & Engineering News, the largest scientific publication in the world, under the headline "Self-Assembling Carbohydrates Trap Cancer Cells In A Cage." According to the article, "the inspiration for spinning a molecular cage around cells came from nature...many of the body’s cells are enmeshed in an extracellular matrix—a complex web of biomolecules that provides structure for tissues, facilitates intercellular communication, and traps nutrients. Scientists are developing molecules that spontaneously assemble into simpler versions of this matrix to provide a growth medium for cells, in particular for tissue engineering. The molecules form a deadly nanofiber web around bone cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone."

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