Heat used to remotely control cells

September 30, 2020

Heat used to remotely control cells

"What if we could build a remote control for cells?" That was the wild idea Kelly Stevens and Daniel Corbett had.

Stevens, assistant professor of bioengineering and laboratory medicine and pathology at the UW School of Medicine, explains that if they were ever going to build an artificial tissue, like a liver, they would need a way to make sure all the cells in that tissue worked properly. She and Corbett, a Ph.D, student in bioengineering, showed that by using heat and cells engineered to respond to heat, they could get the cells to exhibit the functions in the right order.

"Someday, this will also hopefully be able to get scaled into these bigger organs that we could maybe someday transplant into a patient," Stevens says. "We’re not there yet but in order to get there we’re going to have to take these steps."


Terms of appropriate usage of file downloads

  • News reporters and news organizations may freely republish and distribute videos, still images and audio files produced by UW Medicine and the University of Washington School of Medicine.
  • Works must be attributed/credited appropriately (for example, “UW Medicine” – as denoted in the file) and must not be used for commercial purposes.
  • These visual and audio files may not be used to exploit or misrepresent UW Medicine or the University of Washington.
  • UW Medicine often licenses still images and stock video from Getty Images, but we cannot grant republishing rights. You may not republish single image files, videos or animations credited to Getty Images.
  • Logos of UW Medicine and University of Washington Health Sciences schools may not be republished without explicit permission. Contact us by phone or email: 206.543.3620 or mediarelations@uw.edu