Stem cellular therapies work by secreting factors that help broken tissue to repair itself, but stem cells are very sensitive, hard to store, and can be associated with immune rejection problems and the risk of tumor formation. Scientists in the Oughout. S. and China have now developed synthetic cardiac come cells that early in vivo tests indicate are as effective as normally derived human stem cells at helping to promote tissues repair after heart attacks in mice and show none of the most notable drawbacks of naturally derived stem cellular material. The team, led by Ke Cheng, Ph. Deb., at the North Carolina State University, suggests that their cell-mimicking microparticles (CMMPs) could represent the foundation for developing off-the-shelf artificial stem cells for a range of therapeutic indications. The polymer-derived synthetic stem cells are described in Nature Marketing communications in an article entitled “Therapeutic Microparticles Functionalized with Biomimetic Cardiac Stem Cell Membranes and Secretome. ”

Professor Cheng’ s team constructed the CMMPs from a biodegradable, biocompatible polymer, poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid), or PLGA. They combined the PLGA with growth factors through human cardiac stem cells and coated the contaminants with cardiac stem cell membrane. Tested in vitro , the CMMPs and human come cells both promoted the growth of cardiac muscle mass cells. The artificial stem cells were also because effective as human stem cells at promoting cells repair in vivo , in a computer mouse model of cardiac infarction.

The scientists, which includes colleagues at China’ s First Affiliated Hospital associated with Zhengzhou University, claim that CMMPs are also more robust than individual stem cells and can tolerate freezing and thawing. The particular polymer CMMPs aren’ t expected to cause any immunogenicity issues and, because they don’ t replicate, will not stand for a tumor risk. “The synthetic cells operate very similar way a deactivated vaccine works, ” noted Cheng, who is associate professor of molecular biomedical sciences on NC State University, associate professor in the joint biomedical engineering program at NC State, and UNC plus adjunct associate professor at the UNC Eshelman School associated with Pharmacy. “Their membranes allow them to bypass the immune system response, bind to cardiac tissue, release the development factors, and generate repair, but they cannot amplify on their own. So you get the benefits of stem cell therapy without dangers. ”

The manufacturing process for the heart CMMPs can also be used to generate any type of stem cell, the researchers suggest. “We are hoping that this may be a first action toward a truly off-the-shelf stem cell product that would allow people to receive beneficial stem cell therapies when they may needed, without costly delays, ” Professor Cheng determined.