DNA strands in materials act like traffic signals to start, stop cell activity or regenerate tissue
A groundbreaking advancement in materials from Northwestern University could potentially help patients requiring stem cell therapies for spinal cord injuries, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritic joints or any other condition requiring tissue regeneration, according to a new study.
“It’s important in the context of cell therapies for people to cure these diseases or regenerate tissues that are no longer functional,” said senior author Samuel I. Stupp, director of Northwestern’s Simpson Querrey Institute for BioNanotechnology and Board of Trustees Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Chemistry, Medicine and Biomedical Engineering.
Cells in our bodies are constantly being signaled with many types of instructions coming from proteins and other molecules present in the matrices that surround them. For example, these can be cues for cells to express specific genes so they can proliferate or differentiate into several types of cells leading to growth or regeneration of tissues. One of the marvels of this signaling machinery is the built-in capacity in living organisms to make signals stop and re-start as needed, or to switch off one signal and activate a different one to orchestrate very complex processes. Building artificial materials with this type of dynamic capacity for regenerative therapies has been virtually impossible so far.
New technology could be useful in therapies using patient-derived stem cells to regenerate tissue
The new work published today reports the development of the first synthetic material that has the capability to trigger reversibly this type of dynamic signaling. The platform could not only lead to materials that manage stem cells for more effective regenerative therapies, but will also allow scientists to explore and discover in the laboratory new ways to control the fate of cells and their functions.
One of the findings is the possibility of using the synthetic material to signal neural stem cells to proliferate, then at a specific time selected by the operator, trigger their differentiation into neurons and then return the stem cells back to a proliferative state on demand.
The paper also reports that spinal cord neural stem cells, initially grouped into structures known as “neurospheres,” can be driven to spread out and differentiate using a signal. But when this signal is switched off, the cells spontaneously re-group themselves into colonies. This uncovers strong interactions among these cells that could be important in understanding developmental and regenerative cues.
Stem cell proliferation and differentiation can be triggered over multiple cycles with new materials technology
The potential use of the new technology to manipulate cells could help cure a patient with Parkinson’s disease. The patient’s own skin cells could be converted to stem cells using existing techniques. The new technology could help expand the newly converted stem cells in vitro – in the lab – and then drive their differentiation into dopamine-producing neurons before transplantation back to the patient.
In the new technology, materials are chemically decorated with different strands of DNA, each designed to display a different signal to cells. To activate signals to cells, soluble molecules containing complementary DNA strands coupled to peptides are added to the material to create DNA double helices displaying the signal. By adding a few drops of the DNA-peptide conjugate, a green light is given to produce more stem cells. The approach to provide the material with dynamic intelligence is to expose the surface to a soluble single-stranded DNA molecule designed to “grab” the signal-containing strand of the duplex and form a new DNA double helix. This new duplex is no longer attached to the material surface and washes away, thus switching the biological signal off. To turn the signal back on, all that is needed is to now introduce a new copy of single-stranded DNA bearing a signal that will reattach to the material’s surface.
“People would love to have cell therapies that utilize stem cells derived from their own bodies to regenerate tissue,” Stupp said. “In principle, this will eventually be possible, but one needs procedures that are effective at expanding and differentiating cells in order to do so. Our technology does that.”
Starting or stopping cell activity existed before; this research discovered how to re-start and stop again cell activity several times
While this process is currently only done in vitro with the vision of then transplanting cells, Stupp said in the future it might be possible to perform this process in vivo. The stem cells would be implanted in the clinic, encapsulated in the type of material described in the new work, via an injection and targeted to a particular spot. Then the soluble molecules would be given to the patient to manipulate proliferation and differentiation of transplanted cells.
Learn more: New technology to manipulate cells could one day help treat Parkinson’s, arthritis, other diseases
The Latest on: Tissue regeneration
[google_news title=”” keyword=”tissue regeneration” num_posts=”10″ blurb_length=”0″ show_thumb=”left”]
- Biden administration launches program focused on orthobiologicson June 7, 2023 at 12:15 pm
The Biden administration launched a program under the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health focused on orthopedic tissue regeneration.
- Stem Cells Can Defy Their Fates via Mitochondrial Mechanismon June 6, 2023 at 4:59 pm
Mitochondria produce the energy-carrying molecule ATP. But mitochondria do much more than that, Duan said. When they break down sugar to produce ATP, they also produce reactive oxygen species (ROS), ...
- Introducing NeoPAC™ Tissues: OrganaBio Unveils New Birth Tissue Products to Advance Regenerative Medicine and Cell Therapyon June 6, 2023 at 9:28 am
OrganaBio is thrilled to announce the launch of NeoPAC™ placenta and umbilical cord tissues, its latest suite of products designed to accelerate the progress of regenerative medicine and cell therapy.
- Global Dental Regeneration Market Report 2023: Sector is Expected to Reach $7.8 Billion by 2030 at a CAGR of 6.1%on June 6, 2023 at 1:53 am
Smile Dental Care Apollo White Dental Integrated Dental Holdings My Dentist Floss Dental Clinic For instance, according to WHO, in 2022, 3.5 billion people were affected by oral diseases. It is ...
- Origin Dental Wellness Offers Revolutionary Approach to Tissue Regeneration for Dental Implant Recoveryon June 5, 2023 at 10:14 pm
Dental implants have long been considered a transformative solution for individuals with missing teeth. However, the recovery period and tissue regeneration have been ongoing challenges in the field.
- Nanocomposites for Bone Tissue Regenerationon June 5, 2023 at 5:00 pm
Nanocomposites based on bioceramics and biodegradable polymers have attracted much attention for bone tissue regeneration because of the excellent combination of bioactivity and osteoconductivity ...
- A simple model to evaluate skeletal muscle-macrophage interaction during skeletal muscle regenerationon May 29, 2023 at 9:37 am
A research group led by Dr. Naoya Kase and Prof. Megumu Saito have successfully established a model to evaluate skeletal muscle regeneration efficiency and determine how macrophages contribute to the ...
- SoftWave Tissue Regeneration Technologies Receives Innovative Technology Contract From Vizient for DermaGoldon May 16, 2023 at 4:58 am
KENNESAW, GA. / ACCESSWIRE / May 16, 2023 / SoftWave Tissue Regeneration Technologies announced its DermaGold®, an advanced wound care technology, has received an Innovative Technology contract ...
- SoftWave Tissue Regeneration Technologies Receives Innovative Technology Contract From Vizient for DermaGoldon May 16, 2023 at 4:08 am
KENNESAW, GA / ACCESSWIRE / May 16, 2023 / SoftWave Tissue Regeneration Technologies announced its DermaGold®, an advanced wound care technology, has received an Innovative Technology contract ...
- Exploring The Healing Properties Of BPC 157: A Promising Peptide For Tissue Regeneration And Injury Recoveron May 16, 2023 at 2:47 am
SInce its founding, BPC-157 has been the subject of research due to its potential to facilitate soft tissue healing and regeneration. It is hypothesized to possess anti-inflammatory ...
via Google News and Bing News