October 05, 2009
Added Genes Stimulate Stem Cells At Injury Sites

Blood vessel growth at sites of injury can be stimulated with stem cells combined with genes that stimulate blood vessel growth.

Results: MIT engineers have boosted stem cells' ability to regenerate vascular tissue (such as blood vessels) by equipping them with genes that produce extra growth factors (naturally occurring compounds that stimulate tissue growth). In a study in mice, the researchers found that the stem cells successfully generated blood vessels near the site of an injury, allowing damaged tissue to survive.

The researchers used nanoparticles to deliver genes for an angiogenesis (stimulates blood vessel growth) compound to grow blood vessels using stem cells.

Methods: After removing stem cells from mouse bone marrow, the researchers used specially developed nanoparticles to deliver the gene for the growth factor VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor). The stem cells were then implanted into damaged tissue areas. These nanoparticles, which the MIT team has also tested to deliver cancer treatments, are believed to be safer than the viruses often used for gene delivery.

Note that angiogenesis genes are problematic for therapies because mutations in angiogenesis genes are necessary steps for the development of killer cancers. Ideally to carry out safe the added genes need to break down after the repairs are completed.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2009 October 05 11:54 PM  Biotech Stem Cells

Hong said at October 6, 2009 7:07 PM:

And just how different is this from prolotherapy or Platelet injections I wonder. Maybe this is just another step in the new trend to inject growth factors into injured tissue.

Bobby said at October 7, 2009 4:45 AM:

I wonder if this technique will be useful to repair scar-tissue on the spinal chord treating chronic denervation in the Central Nervous System.

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