In what may be the first use of neutron scattering to study complex bio-medical systems under dynamic conditions, Los Alamos researchers and collaborators mimicked blood flow by engineering a layer of human endothelial cells (the cells that cover the inner surface of blood vessels) and subjecting them to shear stress. Simultaneously, the team used neutrons at the Lujan Neutron Scattering Center’s Surface Profile Analysis Reflectometer (SPEAR) to understand changes in the cell’s properties. The technique, which relies on neutron reflectometry to reveal the behavior and composition of the cells, provides a new means to explore conditions that affect human vascular health. The American Journal of Physiology-Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology* has published the research. This research was chosen as one of the scientific news by MedicalXpress (Jan., 23rd, 2014): http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-01-neutrons-vascular.html.
*: “Tuning Endothelial Adhesion with Temperature and Fluid Shear Stress: A Neutron Reflectivity Study”, Luka Pocivavsek, Ann Junghans, Nouredine Zebda, Konstantin Birukov, Jaroslaw Majewski, Am. J. of Physiology, vol. 306 Issue: 1 Pages: L1-L9, Jan. 2014.