'Nano-in-micro' stem cell delivery could rescue blood flow after injury

July 19, 2017

When blood flow is reduced or cut to tissues, cells are deprived of oxygen and nutrients, which can lead to cell death if blood flow isn't efficiently restored. Stem cells are promising treatments, but they do not tend to stay at the site or survive long enough to heal the damage. Today in ACS Central Science, researchers combine micro and nano approaches to improve stem cell therapies and outcomes after ischemia, or inadequate blood supply.

Xiaoming "Shawn" He, Zhenguo Liu and colleagues recognized that in order to improve the viability of stem cell treatments for ischemia, it was crucial to continuously deliver molecules like growth factors to help the survive and develop into new blood vessels. Nanoparticles are good at this sort of biomolecule delivery, but they tend to drag the cargo inside cells. To treat ischemia, the growth factors need to stay outside the cells. The researchers hypothesized that bigger particles could do the trick.

The researchers encapsulated a inside nanoparticles first to protect them from degradation, and then placed the nanoparticles inside much larger hydrogel microcapsules that cannot be taken up by cells. This design provided long-term protection and delivery of the growth factor. When the authors tested their system in a mouse model of ischemia, they observed successful differentiation of stem cells, growth of blood vessels and the restoration of blood supply, collectively rescuing muscle tissue and saving the limbs of the mice.

Explore further: First evidence of ischemia-induced multipotent stem cells in post-stroke human brain

More information: "A Nano-In-Micro System for Enhanced Stem Cell Therapy of Ischemic Diseases" ACS Central Science (2017). pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/acscentsci.7b00213

Related Stories

Enhanced stem cells promote tissue regeneration

October 5, 2009

MIT engineers have boosted stem cells' ability to regenerate vascular tissue (such as blood vessels) by equipping them with genes that produce extra growth factors (naturally occurring compounds that stimulate tissue growth). ...

Blood study insight could improve stem cell therapy success

May 12, 2017

Researchers have pinpointed a key enzyme that is vital for the production of fresh blood cells in the body. The enzyme is essential for the survival of specialised stem cells that give rise to new blood cells, the study found. ...

How blood can be rejuvenated

February 23, 2017

Our blood stem cells generate around a thousand billion new blood cells every day. But the blood stem cells' capacity to produce blood changes as we age. This leads to older people being more susceptible to anaemia, lowered ...

Recommended for you

Breakthrough in ultra-fast data processing at nanoscale

October 20, 2017

A research team from the National University of Singapore has recently invented a novel "converter" that can harness the speed and small size of plasmons for high frequency data processing and transmission in nanoelectronics.

Art advancing science at the nanoscale

October 18, 2017

Like many other scientists, Don Ingber, M.D., Ph.D., the Founding Director of the Wyss Institute, is concerned that non-scientists have become skeptical and even fearful of his field at a time when technology can offer solutions ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.