Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists control cells following transplantation, from inside out

Date:
January 10, 2014
Source:
Harvard University
Summary:
Stem cells scientists can now engineer cells that are more easily controlled following transplantation, potentially making cell therapies, hundreds of which are currently in clinical trials across the United States, more functional and efficient.

Harvard Associate Professor Jeffrey Karp, PhD (left), and James Ankrum, PhD (right).
Credit: Brigham and Women's Hospital

Harvard stem cells scientists at Brigham and Women's Hospital and MIT can now engineer cells that are more easily controlled following transplantation, potentially making cell therapies, hundreds of which are currently in clinical trials across the United States, more functional and efficient.

Associate Professor Jeffrey Karp, PhD, and James Ankrum, PhD, demonstrate in this month's issue of Nature Protocols how to load cells with microparticles that provide the cells cues for how they should behave over the course of days or weeks as the particles degrade.

"Regardless of where the cell is in the body, it's going to be receiving its cues from the inside," said Karp, a Harvard Stem Cell Institute Principal Faculty member at Brigham and Women's Hospital. "This is a completely different strategy than the current method of placing cells onto drug-doped microcarriers or scaffolds, which is limiting because the cells need to remain in close proximity to those materials in order to function. Also these types of materials are too large to be infused into the bloodstream."

Cells are relatively simple to control in a Petri dish. The right molecules or drugs, if internalized by a cell, can change its behavior; such as inducing a stem cell to differentiate or correcting a defect in a cancer cell. This level of control is lost after transplantation as cells typically behave according to environmental cues in the recipient's body. Karp's strategy, dubbed particle engineering, corrects this problem by turning cells into pre-programmable units. The internalized particles stably remain inside the transplanted cell and tell it exactly how to act, whether the cell is needed to release anti-inflammatory factors or regenerate lost tissue.

"Once those particles are internalized into the cells, which can take on the order of 6-24 hours, we can deliver the transplant immediately or even cryopreserve the cells," Karp said. "When the cells are thawed at the patient's bedside, they can be administered and the agents will start to be released inside the cells to control differentiation, immune modulation or matrix production, for example."

It could take more than a decade for this type of cell therapy to be a common medical practice, but to speed up the pace of research, Karp published the Nature Protocols study to encourage others in the scientific community to apply the technique to their fields. The paper shows the range of different cell types that can be particle engineered, including stem cells, immune cells, and pancreatic cells.

"With this versatile platform, which leveraged Harvard and MIT experts in drug delivery, cell engineering, and biology, we've demonstrated the ability to track cells in the body, control stem cell differentiation, and even change the way cells interact with immune cells," said Ankrum, a former graduate student in Karp's laboratory. "We're excited to see what applications other researchers will imagine using this platform."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. James A Ankrum, Oscar R Miranda, Kelvin S Ng, Debanjan Sarkar, Chenjie Xu, Jeffrey M Karp. Engineering cells with intracellular agent–loaded microparticles to control cell phenotype. Nature Protocols, 2014; 9 (2): 233 DOI: 10.1038/nprot.2014.002

Cite This Page:

Harvard University. "Scientists control cells following transplantation, from inside out." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140110103716.htm>.
Harvard University. (2014, January 10). Scientists control cells following transplantation, from inside out. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140110103716.htm
Harvard University. "Scientists control cells following transplantation, from inside out." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140110103716.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nigeria Ups Ebola Stakes on 1st Death

Nigeria Ups Ebola Stakes on 1st Death

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Nigerian authorities have shut and quarantined a Lagos hospital where a Liberian man died of the Ebola virus, the first recorded case of the highly-infectious disease in Africa's most populous economy. David Pollard reports Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Running 5 Minutes A Day Might Add Years To Your Life

Running 5 Minutes A Day Might Add Years To Your Life

Newsy (July 29, 2014) According to a new study, just five minutes of running or jogging a day could add years to your life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Poses Little Threat To U.S.: CDC

Ebola Outbreak Poses Little Threat To U.S.: CDC

Newsy (July 29, 2014) The Ebola outbreak in West Africa poses little threat to Americans, according to officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 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