Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING
PZ HTL SA
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING

Programming Cells to Target Specific Tissues May Enable More Effective Cell-Based Therapies

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 08 Nov 2011
Stem cell therapies hold huge potential to tackle some of the most devastating disorders, diseases, and tissue defects worldwide. However, the inability to target cells to tissues of interest poses a considerable hurdle to effective cell therapy. To address this obstacle, researchers have devised a platform approach to incorporate chemically homing receptors onto the surface of cells. This simple application has the potential to improve the effectiveness of many types of cell therapies by increasing the concentrations of cells at target locations in the body.

The study’s findings were published online in the journal Blood on October 27, 2011. For this new platform, researchers modified the surface of cells to include receptors that act as a homing device. “The central hypothesis of our work is that the ability of cells to home to specific tissues can be enhanced, without otherwise altering cell function,” said corresponding author Jeffrey M. Karp, PhD, codirector of the Regenerative Therapeutics Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH; Boston, MA, USA), and a principal faculty member of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. “By knowing the ‘zip code’ [US postal code] of the blood vessels in specific tissues, we can program the ‘address’ onto the surface of the cells to potentially target them with high efficiencies.”

Whereas traditional cell therapies that include local administration of cells can be useful, they are typically more invasive with limited potential for multiple doses. “You can imagine, that when the targeted tissue is cardiac muscle, for example to treat heart attacks or heart failure, injecting the cells directly into the heart can be an invasive procedure and typically this approach can only be performed once,” said Dr. Karp, also an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School (Boston, MA, USA) and affiliate faculty Harvard-Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Division of Health Sciences and Technology (Cambridge, MA, USA).

Using the platform the researchers created, the cells are prepared to travel directly to the area of interest after being injected through a common and much less invasive intravenous infusion technique. “These engineered cells may also be more effective because multiple doses can be administered,” stated Debanjan Sarkar, PhD, previously a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Karp’s lab and now an assistant professor of Biomedical Engineering at the State University of New York, University at Buffalo (NY, USA).

“The necessity for a more effective delivery approach stems from the potential diseases cell therapy may address,” said Dr. Karp, noting that the approach can be used to systemically target bone producing cells to the bone marrow to treat osteoporosis, cardiomyocytes to the heart to treat ischemic tissue, neural stem cells to the brain to treat Parkinson’s disease, or endothelial progenitor cells to sites of peripheral vascular disease to promote formation of new blood vessels.

The researchers concluded that, as the determination of the processes of cell trafficking grows, the capability to improve homing to specific tissues through engineered techniques should considerably enhance cell therapy by reducing the invasiveness of local administration, allowing repeat dosing, and potentially reducing the number of cells needed to achieve a therapeutic effect, in the end providing better outcomes for patients.

Related Links:
Brigham and Women’s Hospital





Channels

Genomics/Proteomics

view channel
Image: The TheraCyte cell encapsulation device (Photo courtesy of TheraCyte, Inc.).

Encapsulated Human-Insulin-Producing Progenitor Cells Cure Diabetes in Mouse Model

A breakthrough system that allows subcutaneous implantation of encapsulated immature pancreatic cells (beta progenitor cells) was shown to produce enough insulin to correct the symptoms of diabetes in a mouse model.... Read more

Drug Discovery

view channel
Image: Chitosan is derived from the shells of shrimp and other sea crustaceans, including Alaskan pink shrimp, pictured here (Photo courtesy of NOAA - [US] National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).

Chitosan Treatment Clears the Way for Antibiotics to Eliminate Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections

Recurrent urinary tract infection was successfully resolved in a mouse model by treatment with the exfoliant chitosan followed by a round of antibiotics. Bacterial urinary tract infection (UTI), most... Read more

Therapeutics

view channel

Cytokine Identified That Causes Mucositis in Cancer Therapy Patients

The action of the cytokine interleukin 1-beta (IL-1beta) has been found to underlie the onset of mucositis, a common, severe side effect of chemotherapy and irradiation of cancer patients. Mucositis occurs as a result of cell death in reaction to chemo- or radiotherapy. The mucosal lining of the mouth becomes thin, may... Read more

Business

view channel

Analytical Sciences Trade Fair Declared a Rousing Success

Organizers of this year's 24th "analytica" biosciences trade fair have reported significant increases in both the number of visitors and exhibitors compared to the 2012 event. The analytica trade fair for laboratory technology, analysis, and biotechnology has been held at the Munich (Germany) Trade Fair Center every... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2014 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.