Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Precise and persistent cell sabotage: Control of siRNA could aid regenerative medicine, cancer therapy

Date:
August 27, 2012
Source:
Case Western Reserve University
Summary:
Small interfering RNA (siRNA), can be packaged then unleashed as a precise and persistent technology to guide cell behavior, researchers report. The technology holds promise for tissue engineering and cancer therapy.

Some of the body's own genetic material, known as small interfering RNA (siRNA), can be packaged then unleashed as a precise and persistent technology to guide cell behavior, researchers at Case Western Reserve University report in the current issue of the journal, Acta Biomaterialia.

The research group, led by Eben Alsberg, associate professor in the departments of Biomedical Engineering and Orthopedic Surgery, have been pursuing experiments that seek to catalyze stem cells to grow into, for example, bone and cartilage cells, instead of fat, smooth muscle and other cell types.

Beyond tissue engineering, the scientists believe that their technology could be used to starve a tumor by blocking growth of blood vessels that carry nutrition to a malignancy. Or the siRNA could bring on cancer cell death by interfering with other cellular processes.

siRNA is a short section of double-stranded RNA that inhibits gene expression. The molecule can jam up the machinery that produces specific proteins important to cell processes.

A current challenge to using siRNA to block growth of cancerous tumors or guide cell behavior in tissue engineering, is that the tiny material rapidly disperses when injected in the bloodstream or directly into target tissues.

Alsberg, Khanh Nguyen, a postdoctoral researcher, and Phuong N Dang a doctoral student here, packaged siRNA in a mix of polymeric materials. Under ultraviolet light, the mix is induced to form hydrogels connected by a network of polymer threads.

As the threads of the hydrogels break down, the siRNA molecules are cut loose to redirect the fate of the targeted cells. Ultimately, this system can be injected into a target tissue and application of light from outside the body will induce hydrogel formation.

"Local delivery helps target the siRNA to specific cell populations of interest, such as cancer cells in a tumor or stem cells in a bone fracture," Alsberg said. "The ability to alter cell behavior with siRNA can depend on the length of exposure time to the genetic material.

"We can tune the material properties so we can control the dose and rate at which cells are exposed to siRNA. This capacity may prove to be therapeutically valuable."

Tests showed the siRNA effectively interfered with a signal pathway of cells surrounding and inside the hydrogels over an extended period of time.

By adjusting the formula, essentially adding more hands that hold onto the siRNA in the hydrogel complex, the team increased the amount to time target cells are exposed to siRNA from a few days up to a few weeks, thus prolonging the sabotage of undesired cell development.

Alsberg has been awarded a $346,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health and a $1.15 million grant from the Department of Defense to test how well specially packaged siRNA can grow bone and cartilage from stem cells. His lab has already begun these experiments.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Case Western Reserve University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Khanh Nguyen, Phuong Ngoc Dang, Eben Alsberg. Functionalized, biodegradable hydrogels for control over sustained and localized siRNA delivery to incorporated and surrounding cells. Acta Biomaterialia, 2012; DOI: 10.1016/j.actbio.2012.08.012

Cite This Page:

Case Western Reserve University. "Precise and persistent cell sabotage: Control of siRNA could aid regenerative medicine, cancer therapy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 August 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120827094351.htm>.
Case Western Reserve University. (2012, August 27). Precise and persistent cell sabotage: Control of siRNA could aid regenerative medicine, cancer therapy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120827094351.htm
Case Western Reserve University. "Precise and persistent cell sabotage: Control of siRNA could aid regenerative medicine, cancer therapy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120827094351.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Cases Keep Coming for Monrovia's Island Hospital

Ebola Cases Keep Coming for Monrovia's Island Hospital

AFP (Oct. 1, 2014) A look inside Monrovia's Island Hospital, a key treatment centre in the fight against Ebola in Liberia's capital city. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Puts Stress on Liberian Health Workers

Ebola Puts Stress on Liberian Health Workers

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) The Ebola outbreak is putting stress on first responders in Liberia. Ambulance drivers say they are struggling with chronic shortages of safety equipment and patients who don't want to go to the hospital. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Reassure Public Ebola Patient Won't Cause Outbreak

Doctors Reassure Public Ebola Patient Won't Cause Outbreak

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) After the announcement that the first U.S. patient had been diagnosed with Ebola, doctors were quick to say a U.S. outbreak is highly unlikely. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
TX Hospital Confirms Patient Admitted With Ebola

TX Hospital Confirms Patient Admitted With Ebola

AP (Sep. 30, 2014) Medical officials from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital confirm they are treating a patient with the Ebola virus, the first case found in the US. (Sept. 30 Video provided by AP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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