Thursday, August 20, 2015

Advances in Stem Cell Applications

Jeff Karp, Associate Professor, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, presents Towards Accelerated Medical Innovation.
Dr. Jeff Karp

After receiving a letter from a pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon, who was seeking a way to repair septal defects in children, Karp was inspired to develop a better way to increase survival in this population. Due to constant beating of the heart, along with the flow of blood, this makes for a difficult surgical environment, one which sutures and staples are not a good fix. Hence, the development of a surgical glue and patch that would be able to withstand the wet condition caused by blood flow, along with withstand the constant movement required to move blood throughout the body were design considerations. 

Using rats and pigs, the team was able to apply a patch and wet resistant glue with success. Considering the wide range medical implications of this glue, Karp founded Gecko Biomedical, a company whose "proprietary technology platforms are fully synthetic bioinspired light-activated tissue adhesives with strong adhesive and sealing capacity. The adhesives have unique chemical and physical properties, including high viscosity, hydrophobicity and on demand curing. These features allow them to be delivered through minimally invasive procedures to challenging wet environments, with no requirement for tissue drying prior adhesive application."

Next, we hear from Ivan Wall, Senior Lecturer & Undergraduate Admissions Tutor, Department of Biochemical Engineering, University College London, with a presentation titled Measuring and Enhancing MSC Product Characteristics
Dr. Ivan Wall

With the study goal to measure cell qualities that are required for maintenance at the site of injury after therapeutic delivery. Cells were cultured under typical best practice. The effect was evaluated, and measures were performed in low oxygen (2%) as an in vitro model of physiologic oxygen pressure at damage locales. The impact of chemokine preconditioning with SDF1 was additionally evaluated. Findings showed that transient development brought about expanded cell connection however diminished rate of movement, while connection and relocation of patient-inferred bone marrow mononuclear cells was exceedingly heterogeneous. 

Decreased oxygen impeded MSC connection, though not movement. The essential useful reactions of MSCs needed for maintenance and engraftment adjust quickly, even over a generally short extension period. This needs watchful thought when growing cells to accomplish clinical quantities for treatment.

Dr. Steve Oh

Steve Oh, Director, Agency for Science Technology and Research, wraps up the session, presenting on Stem Cell Bioprocesses and Senescence

With an ultimate goal of growing enough cells in an affordable way to patch up one square-centimeter of damaged heart muscle following a heart attack. Rather than culturing cells on round, level Petri dishes, it was suggested perhaps they could attempt to develop them on minor polystyrene dabs known as micro-carriers. 
This procedure had been utilized in the past to mass-produce infection contaminated cells for the vaccine industry. 

Petri dishes typically fit less than 100,000 cells, a miniscule sum when stacked against the 2 billion muscle cells that make up the heart or the 100 billion red platelets expected to fill a sack of blood. This new methodology could possibly deliver cells in larger numbers, to make them more practical for therapy. This new process is an exponential improvement from previously used techniques.

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