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Inflammation display turns up the heat at Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition

Visitors to this year’s Royal Society Summer Exhibition will get a painful taste of the type of research scientists at Queen Mary, University of London are doing.

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A hands-on experience of the early and late phases of inflammation will come to life with splat-back balls disguised as immune cells thrown against cardboard panels to show people how inflammation evolves.

The panels are painted with vascular cells or tissues of different organs and change on impact to become slippery or sticky, and rough or full of holes, depending on where the balls land.

Dr Fulvio D’Acquisto and his colleagues from Queen Mary, University of London is leading the interactive exhibit. He said: “Inflammation is a natural response of our body that we will all experience with redness, pain and swelling at some point in our life-time.

“It is a process which ultimately serves to protect you and we want exhibition visitors to see how we model inflammation in the laboratory. We’ll have microscope stations with ‘close-up’ descriptions of inflammatory cells and their functions as well.”

The Royal Society’s annual Summer Science Exhibition opens on 3 July 2012 and finishes on 8 July.  The official trailer of group’s exhibit ‘Inflammation: the fire of life’ is available on You Tube.

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