Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Molecular beacons light path to cardiac muscle repair

06.09.2013
Pure cardiac muscle cells, ready to transplant into a patient affected by heart disease.

That’s a goal for many cardiology researchers working with stem cells. Having a pure population of cardiac muscle cells is essential for avoiding tumor formation after transplantation, but has been technically challenging.


Fluorescent molecular beacons allow us to distinguish between cardiac muscle cells and other types of cells. Having pure cardiac muscle cells is essential for avoiding tumor formation when the cells are transplanted.

Researchers at Emory and Georgia Tech have developed a method for purifying cardiac muscle cells from stem cell cultures using molecular beacons.

Molecular beacons are tiny "instruments" that become fluorescent only when they find cells that have turned on certain genes. In this case, they target instructions to make a type of myosin, a protein found in cardiac muscle cells.

Doctors could use purified cardiac muscle cells to heal damaged areas of the heart in patients affected by heart attack and heart failure. In addition, the molecular beacons technique could have broad applications across regenerative medicine, because it could be used with other types of cells produced from stem cell cultures, such as brain cells or insulin-producing islet cells.

The results are published in the journal Circulation.

"Often, we want to generate a particular cell population from stem cells for introduction into patients," says co-senior author Young-sup Yoon, MD, PhD, professor of medicine (cardiology) and director of stem cell biology at Emory University School of Medicine. "But the desired cells often lack a readily accessible surface marker, or that marker is not specific enough, as is the case for cardiac muscle cells. This technique could allow us to purify almost any type of cell."

Gang Bao, PhD, whose laboratory has pioneered the design and use of molecular beacons, is co-senior author. Bao is Robert A. Milton chair, Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University. The first authors are Emory postdoctoral fellow Kiwon Ban, PhD and Georgia Tech graduate student Brian Wile.

Ban, Wile and their colleagues cultured stem cells with growth factors, which induced them to differentiate into clumps of spontaneously beating cardiac muscle cells. The experiments used embryonic stem cells or separately, induced pluripotent stem cells, from either mice or humans. For human cells, it takes about two weeks for cardiac muscle cells to form in large numbers.

Molecular beacon flowchart

Molecular beacons home in on messenger RNA produced by particular genes. The molecular beacons are designed to become fluorescent only when they find messenger RNA with the right genetic sequence. Using molecular beacons together with a flow cytometer, which sorts cells based on fluorescence, allowed researchers to pick out the cardiac muscle cells.

The purified cells could engraft into the damaged hearts of mice after a simulated heart attack, and the graft improved the heart’s pumping power (ejection fraction). Recovering animals that received no cells had their ejection fraction fall. When unpurified cells were grafted into mice, all the mice developed teratomas: tumors derived from the stem cells. Note: only mouse stem cells were transplanted into mice.

An important next step for developing purified cardiomyocytes as a therapy for heart diseases, Yoon says, is to engineer them into artificial tissues.

"In previous experiments with injected bare cells, investigators at Emory and elsewhere have found that a large proportion of the cells are washed away," he says. "We need to engineer the cells into compatible biomaterials to enhance engraftment and retention."

The research was supported by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (Center for Translational Cardiovascular Nanomedicine: HHSN268201000043C and R01HL088488), the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (DP3DK94346), the Atlanta Clinical Translational Science Institute, and the National Science Foundation (Emergent Behaviors of Integrated Cellular Systems: 0939511). Ban has an American Heart Association postdoctoral fellowship.

Reference: K. Ban et al. Purification of cardiomyocytes from differentiating pluripotent stem cells using molecular beacons targeting cardiomyocyte-specific mRNA Circulation (2013).

Quinn Eastman | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.emory.edu
http://news.emory.edu/stories/2013/09/cardiac_molecular_beacons/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Symbiotic bacteria: from hitchhiker to beetle bodyguard
28.04.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

nachricht Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis
28.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Grenzflächen- und Bioverfahrenstechnik IGB

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>