Oscillations determine whether blood vessels grow thicker or branch

(Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association) How do the cells of blood vessels decide between growing new side branches or expanding the surface? A new publication in eLife explains the mechanism and shows how the cells can behave as a collective, moving in the same direction together during blood vessel growth. The cells communicate using signals that exhibit oscillating patterns, as the scientists discovered using a combination of computer simulations and experiments. The findings are significant for diabetes and cancer.

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