Journal article

A Two-Dimensional Model of the Colonic Crypt Accounting for the Role of the Basement Membrane and Pericryptal Fibroblast Sheath

Sara-Jane Dunn, Paul L Appleton, Scott A Nelson, Inke S Naethke, David J Gavaghan, James M Osborne



The role of the basement membrane is vital in maintaining the integrity and structure of an epithelial layer, acting as both a mechanical support and forming the physical interface between epithelial cells and the surrounding connective tissue. The function of this membrane is explored here in the context of the epithelial monolayer that lines the colonic crypt, test-tube shaped invaginations that punctuate the lining of the intestine and coordinate a regular turnover of cells to replenish the epithelial layer every few days. To investigate the consequence of genetic mutations that perturb the system dynamics and can lead to colorectal cancer, it must be possible to track the emerging tissue..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by EPSRC

Awarded by OCISB project

Awarded by Cancer Research UK

Awarded by Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

SJD is supported by an EPSRC-funded Life Sciences Interface Doctoral Training Centre studentship (grant reference EP/E501605/1). DJG and JMO are funded through the OCISB project (BB/D020190/1). ISN, PLA and SAN were funded through a Cancer Research UK Program Grant to ISN. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.