Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Programming cells to home in on specific tissues may enable more effective cell-based therapies

Date:
October 28, 2011
Source:
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Summary:
Researchers have developed a platform approach to chemically incorporate homing receptors onto the surface of cells.

Fluorescent image of modified stem cells (red) and unmodified cells (green) localized within inflamed tissue 24 hours after injection. Blood vessels are labeled blue.
Credit: Image courtesy of Brigham and Women's Hospital

Stem cell therapies hold enormous potential to address some of the most tragic illnesses, diseases, and tissue defects world-wide. However, the inability to target cells to tissues of interest poses a significant barrier to effective cell therapy. To address this hurdle, researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) have developed a platform approach to chemically incorporate homing receptors onto the surface of cells. This simple approach has the potential to improve the efficacy of many types of cell therapies by increasing the concentrations of cells at target locations in the body.

These findings are published online in the journal Blood on October 27, 2011.

For this new platform, researchers engineered 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, co-director of the Regenerative Therapeutics Center at BWH and a principal faculty member of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. "By knowing the 'zip 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."

While conventional 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 and affiliate faculty Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology.

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 method. "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.

"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 understanding of the mechanisms of cell trafficking grows, the ability to improve homing to specific tissues through engineered approaches should significantly enhance cell therapy by reducing the invasiveness of local administration, permitting repeat dosing, and potentially reducing the number of cells required to achieve a therapeutic effect, ultimately providing better outcomes for patients.

Study authors also include: Sebastian Schafer, Weian Zhao, Dawn P. Spelke, Joseph A. Philips, Praveen Kumar Vemula, and Rukmani Sridharan, each of Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, and the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Science and Technology; Joel A. Spencer, of Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and Tufts University; Rohit Karnik, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Charles P.Lin, of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Brigham and Women's Hospital. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Debanjan Sarkar, Joel A. Spencer, Joseph A. Phillips, Weian Zhao, Sebastian Schafer, Dawn P. Spelke, Luke J. Mortensen, Juan P. Ruiz, Praveen Kumar Vemula, Rukmani Sridharan, Sriram Kumar, Rohit Karnik, Charles P. Lin, And Jeffrey M. Karp. Engineered cell homing. Blood, October 27, 2011 DOI: 10.1182/blood-2010-10-311464

Cite This Page:

Brigham and Women's Hospital. "Programming cells to home in on specific tissues may enable more effective cell-based therapies." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111027125243.htm>.
Brigham and Women's Hospital. (2011, October 28). Programming cells to home in on specific tissues may enable more effective cell-based therapies. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111027125243.htm
Brigham and Women's Hospital. "Programming cells to home in on specific tissues may enable more effective cell-based therapies." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111027125243.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins