The Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) is the world’s first bioengineering and nanotechnology research institute and its scientists have developed a new method of genetic engineering that facilitates safer stem cell application for cancer patients. The researchers used an insect virus to insert a therapeutic gene into the DNA of human embryonic stem cells. They used a safe site and did not affect the functionality of the engineered cells.
The unique ability of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells to transform themselves into any cell type makes them favorable options for stem cell application in regenerative medicine. Many medical practices need the therapeutic genes to be integrated into these stem cells prior to transplantation into the patient. Yet many genetic engineering methods lack accuracy and are not effective enough in making sure that the therapeutic genes work properly after they are inserted into the chromosomes of the stem cells.
Random integration is the most common way of inserting transgenes into hESCs. It can cause mutations and tumor formation and the transgene could also just shut down due to certain DNA sequences. A new technique is clearly necessary for this particular kind of stem cell application.
IBN Group Leader, Dr. Shu Wang, says: “Having observed the technical complications that plague cell-based therapy, we decided to find a way to enhance the safety and unearth the true potential of this form of therapy for disease treatment. Our lab has been developing stem cell-based vehicles for cancer therapy over the last few years, and we needed a safe method to introduce tumor-killing therapeutic genes into stem cells.”
Angeles hospital in Mexico provides stem cell application for many different conditions and is a center of excellence for its groundbreaking stem cell research. For more information on what we do please contact us with the form on the right.