Researchers have developed an artificial tissue in which human blood stem cells remain functional for a prolonged period of time. Scientists from the University of Basel, University Hospital Basel, and ETH Zurich have reported their findings in the scientific journal PNAS.
Every day in the bone marrow several billion blood cells are formed. This constant supply is ensured by blood stem cells located in special niches within the marrow. These stem cells can multiply and mature into red and white blood cells, which then leave the bone marrow and enter the bloodstream.
For several years, researchers have been trying to reproduce natural bone marrow in the laboratory in order to better understand the mechanisms of blood formation and to develop new therapies – such as for the treatment of leukemia.
However, this has proven to be extremely difficult because – in conventional in vitro models – the blood stem cells lose their ability to multiply and to differentiate into different types of blood cells.
A new kind of artificial bone marrow
Now, researchers have engineered an artificial bone marrow niche, in which the stem and progenitor cells are able to multiply for a period of several days. These findings were reported by researchers working under Professor Ivan Martin from the Department of Biomedicine at the University of Basel and University Hospital Basel and Professor Timm Schroeder from ETH Zurich’s Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering.
The researchers have developed an artificial tissue that mimics some of the complex biological properties of natural bone marrow niches. To do this, they combined human mesenchymal stromal cells with a porous, bone-like 3D scaffold made of a ceramic material in what is known as a perfusion bioreactor, which was used to combine biological and synthetic materials.
This gave rise to a structure covered with a stromal extracellular matrix embedding blood cells. In this respect, the artificial tissue had a very similar molecular structure to natural bone marrow niches, creating an environment in which the functionality of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells could largely be maintained.
A tool for personalized research
The new technique could also be used to produce tailor-made bone marrow niches that have specific molecular properties and that allow the selective incorporation or removal of individual proteins.
This opens up a whole host of possibilities, from researching factors that influence blood formation in humans, to drug screening with a view to predicting how individual patients will respond to a certain treatment.
“We could use bone and bone marrow cells from patients to create an in vitro model of blood diseases such as leukemia, for example. Importantly, we could do this in an environment that consists exclusively of human cells and which incorporates conditions tailored to the specific individual,” explain Ivan Martin and Timm Schroeder.
Paul E. Bourgine, Thibaut Klein, Anna M. Paczulla, Takafumi Shimizu, Leo Kunz, Konstantinos D. Kokkaliaris, Daniel L. Coutu, Claudia Lengerke, Radek Skoda, Timm Schroeder, and Ivan Martin
In vitro biomimetic engineering of a human hematopoietic niche with functional properties
PNAS (2018), doi: 10.1073/pnas.1805440115
Prof. Dr. Ivan Martin, University of Basel / University Hospital Basel, Department of Biomedicine, tel. +41 61 265 23 84, email: email@example.com
Prof. Dr. Timm Schroeder, ETH Zurich, Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cornelia Niggli | Universität Basel
Tag it EASI – a new method for accurate protein analysis
20.06.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie
How to track and trace a protein: Nanosensors monitor intracellular deliveries
19.06.2018 | Universität Basel
In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.
Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...
Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...
Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.
Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...
The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.
Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.
An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.
Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...
13.06.2018 | Event News
08.06.2018 | Event News
05.06.2018 | Event News
20.06.2018 | Materials Sciences
20.06.2018 | Materials Sciences
20.06.2018 | Materials Sciences