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Enhanced Stem Cells Promote Tissue Regeneration

Date:
October 11, 2009
Source:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Summary:
Engineers have boosted stem cells' ability to regenerate vascular tissue (such as blood vessels) by equipping them with genes that produce extra growth factors (naturally occurring compounds that stimulate tissue growth). In a study in mice, the researchers found that the stem cells successfully generated blood vessels near the site of an injury, allowing damaged tissue to survive.

MIT engineers have boosted stem cells' ability to regenerate vascular tissue (such as blood vessels) by equipping them with genes that produce extra growth factors (naturally occurring compounds that stimulate tissue growth). In a study in mice, the researchers found that the stem cells successfully generated blood vessels near the site of an injury, allowing damaged tissue to survive.

Stem cells hold great potential as a way to promote tissue regeneration. However, this approach has been limited because stem cells don't produce enough growth factors after transplantation. The researchers' new super-charged stem cells could be used to treat an infarction (death of tissue caused by blockage of the blood supply, by a clot or another obstruction), or to induce blood supply for engineered tissues.

After removing stem cells from mouse bone marrow, the researchers used specially developed nanoparticles to deliver the gene for the growth factor VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor). The stem cells were then implanted into damaged tissue areas. These nanoparticles, which the MIT team has also tested to deliver cancer treatments, are believed to be safer than the viruses often used for gene delivery.

Though the results are promising, the technique needs more improvements before any human trials can begin, says Daniel Anderson, a senior author of the paper.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Fan Yang, Seungwoo Cho, et al. Regenerative Medicine Special Feature: Genetic engineering of human stem cells for enhanced angiogenesis using biodegradable polymeric nanoparticles. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2009; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0905432106

Cite This Page:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "Enhanced Stem Cells Promote Tissue Regeneration." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 October 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091005161120.htm>.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. (2009, October 11). Enhanced Stem Cells Promote Tissue Regeneration. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091005161120.htm
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "Enhanced Stem Cells Promote Tissue Regeneration." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091005161120.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

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