Cell Guidance Systems Blog

Survival agents: compost for cells

Survival agents: compost for cells

When plants are moved to a new location, they benefit from compost to help put down roots and become established. The compost provides a depot of nutrients that encourages root growth and accelerates the development of the plant. Similarly, survival agents are small molecules (chemicals) or proteins (particularly growth factors) that have a similar function in cell culture and cell implantation. They go beyond regular maintenance, helping cells during the process of adaptation to the new environment and getting through crisis periods before becoming established. Survival agents are used in 2D, 3D and in-vivo.

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CRISPR: How many micromorts?

CRISPR: How many micromorts?

Using CRISPR-Cas9 and related technologies, the human genome can now be edited with relative ease. However, these techniques carry a significant risk in therapeutic applications (gene therapy and cell therapy) of unwanted off-target effects. For example, insertion of DNA near to an oncogene could activate it and cause cancer.

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Maintaining the cytokine Goldilocks effect

Maintaining the cytokine Goldilocks effect

Cytokines/growth factors are large, related groups of highly potent proteins which affect cell fate. Cytokine potency is counter-balanced by relatively short half-lives. This ephemeral nature produces spatiotemporal effects by limiting duration of cytokine bioactivity and therefore the distance they can travel within tissues.

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Significant challenges remain for iPSC-based therapeutics

Significant challenges remain for iPSC-based therapeutics

The invention of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology in 2006 by Shinya Yamanaka was a big moment for stem cell therapeutics. Using a cocktail of transcription factors to turn the clock back on (almost) any cell to its pluripotent past enables essentially unlimited quantities of any cell type to be made. iPSCs are similar to embryonic stem cells (ESCs) that had been isolated several years earlier. However, ESCs are derived from an early-stage embryo, so come with a lot of ethical baggage. Too much for many countries which simply banned the technique. As well as simpler ethics, iPSCs can be made using a patient’s own cells, enabling autologous cell therapy.

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A compelling method for isolating exosomes > SEC

A compelling method for isolating exosomes  > SEC

Exo-spin™ SEC columns can be used as a stand-alone product or as part of a combined strategy for isolating small EVs! CellGS offers pre-packed and equilibrated ready-to-use SEC columns! With the pore size of the resin being approximately 30 nm, Exo-spin™ SEC columns offer a highly pure exosome elution ready for any downstream application.

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Macrophages in drug makers sights

Macrophages in drug makers sights

Macrophages are extraordinary cells. Not just for their phagocytic capacity, which is also shared by a few other cells, but also for their ability to dynamically adapt their function to intervene in unfolding events.

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Drug entities keep evolving

Drug entities keep evolving

Until recently, pharmaceuticals were dominated by a single class of drugs, small molecules. Over the space of 25 years, advances in molecular biology have lead to the development of many new drug classes. Here’s my overview of pharmaceuticals, either marketed or in development, based on molecular entity, and roughly in order of the drugs physical size.

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Can GDNF effectively treat Parkinson's disease?

Can GDNF effectively treat Parkinson's disease?

PD is a progressive degenerative neurological disease that affects about 1% of the population over age 55. Although there are many variants of the disease, a common strand that links these variants is damage to a finite group of dopaminergic (DA) neurons in the midbrain. As these neurons are lost in PD, CNS function and in particular its control over normal muscular function declines. Tremor is a well-known symptom which characterizes PD, but sleep, digestion, cognition, and mobility are also affected with increasing severity as the disease progresses. Current therapies, such as dopamine replacement therapy, only address symptoms and there is an urgent need for a disease-modifying therapy.

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Conditioning cell culture media

Conditioning cell culture media

Cultured cells often require the addition of specific growth factors to enable proliferation, differentiation or survival. However, some recombinant proteins are expensive to use. This is either because they are difficult to make (and therefore costly) or they are simply they are needed in large amounts.

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Top 10 Molecular Biology Tools

Top 10 Molecular Biology Tools

Everyone working in regenerative medicine today is standing in the shoulders of giants. The tools scientists have developed enable progress in the field and the creation of new therapies. Here’s my list of the regenerative medicine’s top molecular tools.

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