Cells are three-dimensional so it makes sense to study them in a three-dimensional context, right? That’s what researchers from the University of Twente in the Netherlands thought, which is why they made these little cages for studying live cells, instead of using a flat petri dish.
Made by coating silicon pits with nitrites, the cages are sufficient to contain the cells, but are open enough that when caged cells are placed closely enough, they can still interact as usual. The pyramid cages allow researchers to keep cells where they want them, but still watch them do what they do. And it makes a sweet little microscopic zoo in the meantime. Win-win. [New Scientist]