DNA strands in materials act like traffic signals to start, stop cell activity or regenerate tissue
A groundbreaking advancement in materials from Northwestern University could potentially help patients requiring stem cell therapies for spinal cord injuries, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritic joints or any other condition requiring tissue regeneration, according to a new study.
“It’s important in the context of cell therapies for people to cure these diseases or regenerate tissues that are no longer functional,” said senior author Samuel I. Stupp, director of Northwestern’s Simpson Querrey Institute for BioNanotechnology and Board of Trustees Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Chemistry, Medicine and Biomedical Engineering.
The study was published today, July 10, in Nature Communications.
Cells in our bodies are constantly being signaled with many types of instructions coming from proteins and other molecules present in the matrices that surround them. For example, these can be cues for cells to express specific genes so they can proliferate or differentiate into several types of cells leading to growth or regeneration of tissues. One of the marvels of this signaling machinery is the built-in capacity in living organisms to make signals stop and re-start as needed, or to switch off one signal and activate a different one to orchestrate very complex processes. Building artificial materials with this type of dynamic capacity for regenerative therapies has been virtually impossible so far.
The new work published today reports the development of the first synthetic material that has the capability to trigger reversibly this type of dynamic signaling. The platform could not only lead to materials that manage stem cells for more effective regenerative therapies, but will also allow scientists to explore and discover in the laboratory new ways to control the fate of cells and their functions… Continue reading....
WASHINGTON, D.C.— The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) has announced the pending induction of Samuel Stupp, Ph.D., Board of Trustees Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Chemistry, Medicine, and Biomedical Engineering, Director Simpson Querrey Institute, Director Center for Bio-inspired Energy Science, Materials Science and Engineering, Chemistry, Medicine, and Biomedical Engineering, Northwestern University, to its College of Fellows. Dr. Stupp was nominated, reviewed, and elected by peers and members of the College of Fellows For the development of bioactive and self-assembling supramolecular biomaterials for regenerative medicine....