U-M BioArtography

Health Awareness Month

BioArtography is a fascinating blend of art and science presenting beautiful microscopic images of cells and tissues taken by investigators during the course of their research. In honor of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Awareness Month, BioArtography is featuring two images in a unique presentation. These selected images, printed directly on frameless glass, recognize the importance of basic and clinical science work on intestinal tract function and disease. 


All proceeds from the sale of BioArtography images are used to send University of Michigan trainees to national and international meetings where they can interact with peers, meet leaders in the field and present their work. A portion of these sales also supports research in the field of gastrointestinal research.  Each image is sold with a description of the research it represents, written in lay language. Thus, beyond supporting trainee education, BioArtography helps to translate the importance of our work to the public.

Epithelial cells of the gut provide a barrier between the body and the outside environment. An important part of that barrier is a protein called Ankyrin-G (green), which helps keep the cells tightly attached to one another, preventing invasion by the trillions of bacteria (both commensal and pathogenic) that inhabit the lumen of the gut.
In Crohn's disease, the intestine is often narrowed by strictures that are formed by fibrosis of the tissue and can lead to intestinal blockage. Myofibroblasts, shown here are the cells that play a major role in fibrosis and stricture formation.