Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Stem Cells, Cellular Therapy & Biobanking
>
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Cellular Landscaping: Predicting How, and How Fast, Cells Will Change

Published: Monday, November 05, 2012
Last Updated: Monday, November 05, 2012
Bookmark and Share
A research team at NIST has developed a model for making quantifiable predictions of how a group of cells will react and change in response to a given environment or stimulus—and how quickly.

The NIST model, in principle, makes it possible to assign reliable numbers to the complex evolution of a population of cells, a critical capability for efficient biomanufacturing as well as for the safety of stem cell-based therapies, among other applications.

The behavior and fate of cells are only partially determined by their DNA. A living cell reacts to both its internal and external environment—the concentration of a particular protein inside itself or the chemistry of its surroundings, for example—and those reactions are inherently probabilistic. You can't predict the future of any given cell with certainty.

This inherent uncertainty has consequences, according to NIST biochemist Anne Plant. "In the stem cell area in particular, there's a real safety and effectiveness issue because it's very hard to get 100 percent terminal differentiation of stem cells in a culture," she says. This could be problematic, because a therapist wishing to produce, say, heart muscle cells for a patient, might not want to introduce the wild card of undifferentiated stem cells. "Or effectiveness may be dependent on a mixture of cells at different stages of differentiation.  One of the things that is impossible to predict at the moment is: if you waited longer, would the number of differentiated versus nondifferentiated cells change? Or if you were to just separate out the differentiated cells, does that really remove all the nondifferentiated cells? Or could some of them revert back?" says Plant.

The NIST experiments did not use stem cells, but rather fibroblasts, a common model cell for experiments. The team also used a standard tracking technique, modifying a gene of interest—in this case, one that codes for a protein involved in building the extracellular support matrix in tissues—by adding a snippet that codes for a small fluorescent molecule. The more a given cell activates or expresses the gene, the brighter it glows under appropriate light. The team then monitored the cell culture under a microscope, taking an image every 15 minutes for over 40 hours to record the fluctuations in cell behavior, the cells waxing and waning in the degree to which they express the fluorescent gene.

Custom software developed at NIST was used to analyze each image. Both time-lapse data from individual cells and time-independent data from the entire population of cells went into a statistical model. The resulting graph of peaks and valleys, called a landscape, says Plant, "mathematically describes the range of possible cell responses and how likely it is for cells to exhibit these responses." In addition, she says, the time analysis provides kinetic information: how much will a cell likely fluctuate between states, and how quickly?

The combination makes it possible to predict the time it will take for a given percentage of cells to change their characteristics. For biomanufacturing, it means a finer control over cell-based processes. If applied to stem cells, the technique could be useful in predicting how quickly the cells differentiate and the probability of having undifferentiated cells present at any point in time.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,000+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,400+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.


Scientific News
Cell Transplant Treats Parkinson’s in Mice
A University of Wisconsin—Madison neuroscientist has inserted a genetic switch into nerve cells so a patient can alter their activity by taking designer drugs that would not affect any other cell.
Skin Cells Turned into Heart Cells and Brain Cells Using Drugs
In a scientific first, Gladstone researchers have used chemical drugs to convert skin cells into heart cells and brain cells, without adding any external genes.
Shape Of Tumor May Affect Whether Cells Can Metastasize
Illinois researchers found that the shape of a tumor may play a role in how cancer cells become primed to spread.
‘Mini-Brains’ to Study Zika
Novel tool expected to speed research on brain and drug development.
Cytokine Triggers Immune Response at Expense of Blood Renewal
Research highlights promise of Anti-IL-1 drugs to treat chronic inflammatory disease.
AstraZeneca to Sequence 2 Million Genomes in Search for New Drugs
Company launches integrated genomics approach which aims to transform drug discovery and development.
Improving Engineered T-Cell Cancer Treatment
Purdue University researchers may have figured out a way to call off a cancer cell assassin that sometimes goes rogue and assign it a larger tumor-specific "hit list."
Micro Heart Muscle Created from Stem Cells
Researchers have designed a new way to create micro heart muscle from stem cells using a unique dog bone dish.
Immune Booster Tested in Advanced Merkel Cell Cancer
The immunotherapy drug produced durable responses in many patients.
Mutated Mitochondria Found in Stem Cells
Researchers find hidden genetic mutations in patient-derived stem cells which could ultimately undermine therapeutic benefit.
SELECTBIO

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,000+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,400+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!