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Los investigadores han descubierto una nueva forma y está dentro de tu piel


Raquel Segovia

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Imagen: Universidad de Sevilla

El "escutoide" es una creación geométrica recién descubierta, y es el secreto de por qué nuestros órganos tienen la forma que tienen.

Cuadrados, triángulos, rectángulos: pensarías que la lista de formas geométricas para las que tenemos nombres ya está muy bien establecida en este punto de la existencia. Pero no vayamos tan rápido: ahora tenemos el "escutoide".

La compleja y cuasi cilíndrica construcción puede sonar extraña, pero el escutoide se encuentra lo más cerca posible de ti: en tu piel. En un estudio publicado en Nature Communications, los científicos de la Universidad de Sevilla en España, Lehigh University en Pennsylvania y de varias otras instituciones de investigación concluyeron que el tipo de células responsables de formar la piel y el revestimiento de los órganos de un organismo se transformará en escutoides con el fin de lograr la compleja curvatura de esos órganos.

En una declaración de uno de los autores, Luis M. Escudero de la Universidad de Sevilla comparó estas células, llamadas "células epiteliales", y las formas que logran con los bloques de Lego. Los escutoides son la forma perfecta para unir a las células de forma ajustada y eficiente, y que así pueden actuar como un escudo contra la infección.

 

Según Escudero, la forma escutoide permite que un embrión avance de ser una estructura simple con células mínimas a convertirse en un organismo complejo. "Este proceso no sólo ocurre debido al crecimiento del organismo, sino también porque las células epiteliales comienzan a 'moverse y unirse' para organizarse correctamente y darle a los órganos su forma final", dijo Escudero.

 
Imagen: Universidad de Sevilla
Imagen: Universidad de Sevilla

Nadie sabía realmente qué forma tenían las células epiteliales durante el desarrollo del órgano antes de este estudio, y generalmente se las representaban mediante un prisma o una figura similar a una pirámide. Sin embargo, mediante la simulaciones por computadora y la observación del tejido animal, los investigadores descubrieron que el escutoide es la arquitectura ideal para nuestros órganos redondeados y curvos.

Los investigadores dijeron que en el futuro, el conocimiento del escutoide puede arrojar luz sobre enfermedades que complican o alteran el desarrollo de los órganos.

Publicado originalmente en VICE.com

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