- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
From The CriticsReviewer: Bruce A. Fenderson, PhD (Thomas Jefferson University)
Description: Cellular engineering is a catchy phrase that, like the proverbial elephant, means different things to different people. For some, the phrase implies control over cell differentiation — a major goal of stem cell research. Contributors to this book define cellular engineering as the application of engineering tools to the manipulation of living cells. This book is focused primarily on the molecular interface between the plasma membrane and external environment. This domain appears to control many aspects of cell behavior and plays an important role in organizing cells into tissues. The book presents an overview of new concepts in this exciting field and includes 13 chapters on topics ranging from "dynamics of platelet aggregation" to "glycocalyx regulation of cell adhesion." The primary focus is on cell biology and biophysics.
Purpose: According to the editor, this book "aims to bring together in one place the important results, concepts, and opinions of how cells interact with biomolecular surfaces." Each chapter provides examples of experimental systems that have been developed to study functional aspects of cell surface biochemistry.
Audience: The book is written primarily for basic science researchers (graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, scientists) interested in biophysics, biochemistry, and bioengineering. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the topic, this book will be appreciated by a wide range of scientists, including those interested in the plasma membrane, complex carbohydrates, extracellular matrix glycoproteins, and cytoskeletal proteins. If the phrase "cellular traction" appeals to you, then you will probably like this book.
Features: The chapters cover interesting and relevant topics. The book is filled with scientific data and technical information. The authors both review the literature and highlight their own research, assuming a high level of knowledge on the part of the reader. Full color illustrations are included as an insert. Each chapter includes an abstract, conclusion, list of suggested reading, and a short bibliography. The book is carefully edited, and the authors are experts in this field.
Assessment: The book provides an introduction to a specific field of research, namely the biomolecular interface. The ability of living cells to "read" their environment is clearly illustrated, and experimental systems that allow precise measurements of cell membrane adhesive interactions are described. This is not a general text covering the field of cellular engineering; it does not address many aspects of this broad topic. Thus, in my opinion, the title of the book is somewhat misleading. I recommend this book primarily for research scientists in biophysics and bioengineering. It is a great overview of new paradigms in the study of biological structure and function. Since it provides a snapshot of current research, it will hopefully generate enthusiasm for further investigation of the critical interface between cells and their external environment.