Skin cell imaging: How do wounds heal?

Researchers from Duke University have developed a new imaging system using zebrafish cells to study how skin responds to disease and injury.

The project, known as Skinbow, uses genetically modified fish with skin cells that randomly produce combinations of red, green and blue fluorescent proteins.

The researchers performed a fin amputation then watched as existing cells migrated rapidly from surrounding skin to cover the wound, supplement the coverage, and finally expand to provide more cover. 

“One of the barriers to studying regeneration has been to visualize it at high resolution, examining what individual cells are doing and what a large number of cells are doing collectively,” cell biologist Kenneth Poss told Financial Times Magazine. “We can catch all of that with this kind of imaging.”

The research could also help scientists study the effects of infection, cancer and drugs on skin tissues.

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