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Engineered cells could usher in programmable cell therapies
Date:2/2/2011

ments James A. Ankrum, co-first author on the paper and an HST graduate student. "The particles needed to be small enough for the cells to internalize, yet large enough to prevent being shed by the cell." The dye was observed to seep from the tiny particle depots to the outside of the cell through the cell membrane over a period of several days.

Next, they replaced the dye with an agent known to spur MSCs to differentiate into osteoblasts, the cells that make bone. They found that not only did MSCs containing the depots differentiate into osteoblasts, but so did MSCs without depots that were nearby and even much further away. "We demonstrated that the fate of particle-carrying cells could be controlled, as well as the fates of neighboring and distant cells," says Debanjan Sarkar, co-first author of the paper and now a professor at the University of Buffalo.

Additional authors are Grace S. L. Teo of HST and Christopher V. Carman of Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital.

To date the team has demonstrated the engineered cells in laboratory systems designed to mimic the body. They are in the process of translating the work to animals. "If it works in vivo, it could have a significant impact globally on cell therapy," says Karp, whose team has filed for a patent on the work.


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Contact: Holly Brown-Ayers
hbrown-ayers@partners.org
617-534-1603
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Source:Eurekalert  

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