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KIT researchers develop artificial bone marrow
Date:1/10/2014

ith which signal substances are exchanged. Moreover, the space among the cells has a matrix that ensures a certain stability and provides the cells with points to anchor. In the stem cell niche, the cells are also supplied with nutrients and oxygen.

The Young Investigators Group "Stem CellMaterial Interactions" headed by Dr. Cornelia Lee-Thedieck consists of scientists of the KIT Institute of Functional Interfaces (IFG), the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Stuttgart, and Tbingen University. It artificially reproduced major properties of natural bone marrow at the laboratory. With the help of synthetic polymers, the scientists created a porous structure simulating the sponge-like structure of the bone in the area of the blood-forming bone marrow. In addition, they added protein building blocks similar to those existing in the matrix of the bone marrow for the cells to anchor. The scientists also inserted other cell types from the stem cell niche into the structure in order to ensure substance exchange.

Then, the researchers introduced hematopoietic stem cells isolated from cord blood into this artificial bone marrow. Subsequent breeding of the cells took several days. Analyses with various methods revealed that the cells really reproduce in the newly developed artificial bone marrow. Compared to standard cell cultivation methods, more stem cells retain their specific properties in the artificial bone marrow.

The newly developed artificial bone marrow that possesses major properties of natural bone marrow can now be used by the scientists to study the interactions between materials and stem cells in detail at the laboratory. This will help to find out how the behavior of stem cells can be influenced and controlled by synthetic materials. This knowledge might contribute to producing an artificial stem cell niche for the specific reproduction of stem cells and the treatment of leukemia in ten to fifteen years from now.
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Contact: Monika Landgraf
presse@kit.edu
49-721-608-47414
Helmholtz Association
Source:Eurekalert  

Page: 1 2 3

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