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

Unlocking the Potential of Stem Cells to Repair Brain Damage

Published: Friday, June 06, 2014
Last Updated: Friday, June 06, 2014
Bookmark and Share
Ms Rachel Okolicsanyi research published in Developmental Biology journal.

A QUT scientist is hoping to unlock the potential of stem cells as a way of repairing neural damage to the brain.

Rachel Okolicsanyi, from the Genomics Research Centre at QUT's Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, said unlike other cells in the body which were able to divide and replicate, once most types of brain cells died, the damage was deemed irreversible.

Ms Okolicsanyi is manipulating adult stem cells from bone marrow to produce a population of cells that can be used to treat brain damage.

"My research is a step in proving that stem cells taken from the bone marrow can be manipulated into neural cells, or precursor cells that have the potential to replace, repair or treat brain damage," she said.

Ms Okolicsanyi's research has been published in Developmental Biology journal, and outlines the potential stem cells have for brain damage repair.

"What I am looking at is whether or not stem cells from the bone marrow have the potential to differentiate or mature into neural cells," she said.

"Neural cells are those cells from the brain that make everything from the structure of the brain itself, to all the connections that make movement, voice, hearing and sight possible."

Ms Okolicsanyi's research is looking at heparin sulfate proteoglycans - a family of proteins found on the surface of all cells.

"What we are hoping is that by manipulating this particular family of proteins we can encourage the stem cells to show a higher percentage of neural markers indicating that they could mature into neural cells rather than what they would normally do, which is form into bone, cartilage and fat," she said.

"We will manipulate these cells by modifying the surrounding environment. For example we will add chemicals such as complex salts and other commonly found biological chemicals to feed these cells and this will either inhibit or encourage cellular processes."

Ms Okolicsanyi said by doing this, it would be possible to see the different reactions stem cells had to particular chemicals and find out whether these chemicals could increase or decrease the neural markers in the cells.

"The proteins that we are interested in are almost like a tree," she said.

"They have a core protein that is attached to the cell surface and they have these heparin sulfate chains that branch off.

"So when the chemicals we add influence the stem cell in different ways, it will help us understand the interactions between proteins and the resulting changes in the cell.

"In the short-term it is proof that simple manipulations can influence the stem cell and in the long-term it is about the possibility of increasing the neural potential of these stem cells."

Ms Okolicsanyi said the big picture plan was to be able to introduce stem cells into the brain that would be able to be manipulated to repair damaged brain cells.

"The idea, for example, is that in stroke patients where the patient loses movement, speech or control of one side of their face because the brain's electrical current is impaired, that these stem cells will be able to be introduced and help the electrical current reconnect by bypassing the damaged cells."


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 3,300+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,900+ 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
Controlling DNA Repair
Scientists discover that DNA repair outcomes following CRISPR-Cas9 cleaving are non-random and can be harnessed to produce desired effects.
Gene Therapy Via Ultrasound
Research into a gene therapy approach called sonoporation could help combat heart disease and cancer.
Stem Cell Therapy Heals Injured Mouse Brain
A team of researchers has developed a therapeutic technique that dramatically increases the production of nerve cells in mice with stroke-induced brain damage.
Challenging Stem Cell Fate Control
Researchers have found that the fate of stem cells is not only controlled by their local niche, but also by a cell-intrinsic mechanism.
Zika Proteins Responsible for Microcephaly Identified
Researchers have undertaken the first study to examine Zika infection in human neural stem cells from second-trimester fetuses.
Heart Muscle from Stem Cells Aid Cardiovascular Medicine
Researchers discover heart muscle cells from stem cells mirror expression patterns of key genes in donor tissue.
Examining New Hypotheses for Undiagnosed Patients
UnDx Consortium gathers in San Diego to create new paths to identifying currently undiagnosed illnesses.
Novel Therapeutic Approach for Blood Disorders
Gene editing of human blood-forming stem cells mimics a benign genetic condition that helps to overcome sickle cell disease and other blood disorders.
Bone Marrow Transplants Without Using Chemotherapy
Scientists have devised a way to destroy blood stem cells in mice without using chemotherapy or radiotherapy, both of which have toxic side effects.
How Cloud Connectivity Can Combat the Reproducibility Crisis
This infographic explains the reproducibility crisis, and how cloud connectivity can help overcome this problem.
Skyscraper Banner

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
3,300+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,900+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!