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
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 2,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 3,800+ 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
The Mending Tissue - Cellular Instructions for Tissue Repair
NUS-led collaborative study identifies universal mechanism that explains how tissue shape regulates physiological processes such as wound healing and embryo development.
Tissue Bank Pays Dividends for Brain Cancer Research
Checking what’s in the bank – the Brisbane Breast Bank, that is – has paid dividends for UQ cancer researchers.
iPS Cells Discover Drug Target for Muscle Disease
Researchers have designed a model that reprograms fibroblasts to the early stages of their differentiation into intact muscle cells in a step towards a therapeutic for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
Engineered Hot Fat Implants Reduce Weight Gain
Scientists at UC Berkeley have developed a novel way to engineer the growth and expansion of energy-burning “good” fat, and then found that this fat helped reduce weight gain and lower blood glucose levels in mice.
Transplanted Stem Cells Can Benefit Retinal Disease Sufferers
Tests on animal models show that MSCs secrete growth factors that suppress causes of diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration.
MRI Scanners Can Steer Therapeutics to Specific Target Sites
Scientists from the University of Sheffield have discovered MRI scanners, normally used to produce images, can steer cell-based, tumour busting therapies to specific target sites in the body.
Team Finds Early Inflammatory Response Paralyzes T Cells
Findings could have enormous implications for immunotherapy, autoimmune disorders, transplants and other aspects of immunity.
Early Detection of Lung Cancer
The University of Manchester has signed a collaboration agreement with Abcodia to perform proteomics studies on a cohort of non-small cell lung cancer cases from the UKCTOCS biobank, with the aim of discovering new blood-based biomarkers for earlier detection of the disease.
Researchers Identify Drug Candidate for Skin, Hair Regeneration
Formerly undiscovered role of protein may lead to the development of new medications that stimulate hair and skin regeneration in trauma or burn victims.
Basis for New Treatment Options for a Fatal Leukemia in Children Revealed
Detailed molecular analyses allow new insights into the function of tumour cells and options for new treatments.
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
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
2,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,800+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FREE!