Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Applications include zapping cancer cells

23.10.2007
MIT works toward novel therapeutic device

MIT and University of Rochester researchers report important advances toward a therapeutic device that has the potential to capture cells as they flow through the blood stream and treat them. Among other applications, such a device could zapp cancer cells spreading to other tissues, or signal stem cells to differentiate.

Their concept leverages cell rolling, a biological process that slows cells down as they flow through blood vessels. As the cells slow, they adhere to the vessel walls and roll, allowing them to sense signals from nearby tissues that may be calling them to work. Immune cells, for example, can be slowed and summoned to battle an infection.

"Through mimicking a process involved in many important physiological and pathological events, we envision a device that can be used to selectively provide signals to cells traveling through the bloodstream," said Jeffrey M. Karp of the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology. "This technology has applications in cancer and stem cell therapies and could be used for diagnostics of a number of diseases."

The team, led by Karp, started with technology to induce cell rolling for research. With an implantable therapeutic device in mind, they improved that cell rolling technology to make it safe, more stable and longer lasting.

The improvements are described in the October 20 online issue of the journal Langmuir, published by the American Chemical Society.

In the body, P-selectin and other selectin proteins regulate cell rolling in blood vessels. When P-selectin is present on a vessel's inner wall, cells that are sensitive to it will stick to that patch and begin to roll across it.

To induce rolling in the laboratory, the original technology weakly adheres P-selectin to a glass surface and flows cells across it. This surface treatment remains stable for several hours then breaks down. "While this method is useful for experiments, it's not good for long-term stability," said Karp. An implantable device needs a coating that lasts weeks or even months so that patients won't need to come in frequently for replacements.

To improve the technology, the team experimented with several chemical methods to immobilize P-selectin on a glass surface. They identified a polyethelene glycol (PEG) coating that strongly bonded to P-selectin. This coating is also "non-fouling," meaning it does not react with or accumulate other proteins, so it is potentially safe for use in an implant.

P-selectin remains stable on this coating for longer than the original technology. In tests with microspheres coated with a molecule that interacts with P-selectin, these spheres slowed down significantly as they flowed over the surface coated with layers of PEG and P-selectin. The effect was stable past four weeks, the longest the devices have been tested.

To validate that this technology works with cells that are sensitive to P-selectin, the team flowed neutrophils (white blood cells) across the coated surface. They too slowed and rolled on surfaces treated with the new coating, and the effect again lasted for at least four weeks.

The next step is translating these results to animal studies and using the technology to slow and capture stem cells and cancer cells circulating in the blood stream.

Ultimately CellTraffix, Inc., a sponsor of this technology and its licensee, wants to apply the technique to a device that is either implanted into the blood stream or appended as a shunt. In addition to PEG and selectin molecules, the device would also include a therapeutic agent. Such an agent would interact only with certain cells for a specific purpose.
According to University of Rochester biomedical engineering professor Michael King, who developed the concept for adhesive capture and reprogramming of cells, the device could, for example, slow down metastatic, or spreading, cancer cells and kill them.

Karp also has appointments at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital. King is also a member of the scientific advisory board of CellTraffix, Inc. (formerly Stem Capture, Inc.), a funder of the work. Their coauthors include first author Seungpyo Hong, a postdoctoral associate in MIT's Department of Chemical Engineering; MIT undergraduates Huanan Zhang, Jennifer Q. Zhang, and Jennifer N. Resvick, also of chemical engineering; graduate student Dooyoung Lee of the University of Rochester; assistant professor Ali Khademhosseini of the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology and Brigham and Women's Hospital, and MIT Institute Professor Robert Langer.

In addition to funding from CellTraffix, Inc., the work was also funded by the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center Program of the National Science Foundation.

Written by Elizabeth Dougherty, Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology

Elizabeth A. Thomson | MIT News Office
Further information:
http://www.mit.edu

Further reports about: Cancer Coating P-selectin blood vessel include stable therapeutic vessel

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht How brains surrender to sleep
23.06.2017 | IMP - Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pathologie GmbH

nachricht A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation
22.06.2017 | Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>