Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the world**. These deaths are mainly caused by the hardening and subsequent blockage of blood vessels due to the accumulation of fatty materials, a condition called atherosclerosis. As not all patients are suitable for conventional stenting or bypass treatment, an option in the future may be to grow new blood vessels to bypass their own blocked vessels.
The team from Cambridge worked with embryonic stem cells and reprogrammed skin cells, collectively known as human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs), which have the potential to form any cell type in the body. They discovered a method of creating all the major vascular smooth muscle cells in high purity using hPSCs which can also be easily scaled up for production of clinical-grade SMCs. This is the first time that such a system has been developed and will open the door for comparative studies on different subtypes of SMCs to be carried out, which are otherwise extremely difficult to obtain from patients.
The scientists created three subtypes of SMCs from different embryonic tissues which they reproduced in the culture dish and showed that the various SMC subtypes responded differently when exposed to substances that cause vascular diseases. They concluded that differences in the embryonic origin play a role in their susceptibility to diseases and may play a part in determining where and when common vascular diseases such as aortic aneurysms or atherosclerosis develop.
Dr Alan Colman, Principle Investigator of the Institute of Medical Biology under A*STAR and Executive Director of the Singapore Stem Cell Consortium, said, "This is a major advance in vascular disease modelling using patient-derived stem cells. The development of robust methods to make multiple, distinct smooth muscle subtypes provides tools for scientists to model and understand a greater range of vascular diseases in a culture dish than was previously available. It is a significant stride forward in being able to construct new blood vessels which will benefit a whole range of patients including those with cardiovascular diseases, renal failure and genetic disorders such as Marfans Syndrome that affect the normal function of their blood vessels."
Dr Lim Khiang Wee, Executive Director of the A*STAR Graduate Academy (A*GA), said, "Christine's work reflects the calibre of our scholars - they do excellent research and grow into scientists who will contribute to Singapore when they return."
Ms Christine Cheung is a National Science Scholarship (NSS) scholar and is doing her final year PhD studies at Cambridge University (UK). The NSS scholarship is one of the programmes offered by A*GA, to attract and develop outstanding young talent passionate about research who will spearhead Singapore's drive to becoming Asian's Innovation Capital.
* The paper "Generation of human vascular smooth muscle subtypes provides insight into embryological origin-dependent disease susceptibility" was published on Nature Biotechnology's website on 15 January. Ms Christine Cheung is funded by a National Science Scholarship from the A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology and Research, Singapore). The other authors are Dr Andreia S Bernardo, Dr Matthew W B Trotter, Prof Roger A Pedersen & Dr Sanjay Sinha (Christine's PhD supervisor). Additional funding was provided by the Wellcome Trust and the Medical Research Council. http://www.nature.com/nbt/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nbt.2107.html
A*STAR, the Agency for Science, Technology and Research, is Singapore's lead agency for fostering world-class scientific research and talent for a vibrant knowledge-based Singapore. A*STAR actively nurtures public sector research and development in Biomedical Sciences, Physical Sciences and Engineering, with a particular focus on fields essential to Singapore's manufacturing industry and new growth industries. It oversees 19 research institutes and consortia and supports extramural research with the universities, hospital research centres and other local and international partners. At the heart of this knowledge intensive work is human capital. Top local and international scientific talent drive knowledge creation at A*STAR research institutes. The Agency also sends scholars for undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral training in the best universities, a reflection of the high priority A*STAR places on nurturing the next generation of scientific talent. For more information, please visit www.a-star.edu.sg.Contact:
Ong Siok Ming | Japan Corporate News Network
The birth of a new protein
20.10.2017 | University of Arizona
Building New Moss Factories
20.10.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
20.10.2017 | Information Technology
20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research