Cell Guidance Systems Blog

A lot on the plate: high-throughput exosome isolation

A lot on the plate: high-throughput exosome isolation

Size exclusion chromatography (SEC) is fast becoming the purification method of choice for extracellular vesicles including exosomes. However, the technique has been confined to relatively low throughput, single-column formats. Continued improvementsas led to a new high-throughput isolation product that has overcome this limitation.

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Understanding and reducing variability in cell-based assays.

Understanding and reducing variability in cell-based assays.

Cell-based assays are a cornerstone of research and drug development. However, the beneficial effects of promising drugs can easily be missed amidst the noise of experimental data. This means good drug candidates are often overlooked. Just as concerning, data that would otherwise flag problematic candidates can be missed allowing drug candidates to progress to later stages before eventually failing.

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Refining 3D Cell Culture Systems for Drug Discovery

Refining 3D Cell Culture Systems for Drug Discovery

Three-dimensional (3D) culture systems are becoming increasingly popular in both biomedical research and in drug discovery. It is becoming widely accepted that in vitro 3D cell culture technologies have the ability to mimic tissue-like structures and both physiological and disease states more effectively than traditional two-dimensional (2D) monolayer cultures on plastic surfaces.

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Organoids increasingly used to model pancreatic cancer

Organoids increasingly used to model pancreatic cancer

Despite recent remarkable advances in the treatment of some cancers, pancreatic cancer patients still have one of the worst survival rates. Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma’s (PDAC) five-year survival is only 2%-9%. This poor prognosis can largely be attributed to two major factors. Firstly, owing to relatively benign presenting features, the disease is not diagnosed until it has progressed to advanced or metastatic stages in >70% of patients.

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We'll meat again: diets are becoming more cultured

We'll meat again: diets are becoming more cultured

Vegetarianism and veganism have become increasingly popular over the last few years, with the number of vegans increasing. In the UK for example, veganism has increased from 150,000 in 2014 to 600,000 in 2019. This is equivalent to about 0.8% of the population. Ten countries have rates of vegetarianism above 10%. The most common reasons people chose to undertake a dietary change relate to both the environmental impact of animal agriculture and, of course, animal welfare. With this in mind, could lab=grown meat provide a more ethical way for people to include meat products in their diet?

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Just why do growth factors have such short half-lives?

Just why do growth factors have such short half-lives?

Anyone working in stem cell culture is painfully aware of the short half-lives of growth factors. These very expensive little proteins rapidly degrade which means time and money spent replacing them. But the ephemeral nature of growth factors is critical to their functionality

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Towards synthetic alternatives to Matrigel for regenerative medicine applications.

Towards synthetic alternatives to Matrigel for regenerative medicine applications.

Matrigel and similar products such as Geltrex, have become essential reagents for 3D cell culture. Matrigel contains a mixture of major basement-membrane extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins (e.g. laminin, collagen IV, entactin and the heparin sulphate proteoglycan perlecan). It is also packed with growth factors and many enzymes. As such, it provides an ideal structural and biological environment for culturing cells and is used in a myriad of applications in many formats.

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Biological applications of HEMA hydrogels

Biological applications of HEMA hydrogels

Hydrogels are defined as a 3-dimensional network capable of absorbing water without becoming solvated - a property they share with most soft tissues within the body. This similarity has led to rising levels of research focussed on using hydrogels in the field of tissue engineering and regeneration as analogues for ECM and assisting wound healing, as well as extensive use in contact lens production both for vision corrective as well as therapeutic treatments

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Trojan Horses in therapeutics- half way through the city gate

Trojan Horses in therapeutics- half way through the city gate

In drug development, the term Trojan horse encompasses a variety of strategies to deliver drugs in a concealed, safe and efficient way to the target. The main objectives of this strategy are firstly to overcome barriers, such as the blood brain-barrier or simply the cell membrane, which shield the target (Troy) from a drug (the Greeks), secondly, to specifically attack the disease rather than the whole body and thirdly, to achieve a slow drug release over time with no sudden concentration peaks. This approach does not only sound awesome on a metaphoric level, but also makes use of some nifty biological tricks.

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