Ankrum develops new method to control cells after transplant


January 14, 2014

Harvard stem cell researchers working at MIT and Brigham and Women’s Hospital have demonstrated a new method of controlling cells after transplant, making them do the necessary behavior such as correcting a defect on a cancer cell or replenishing lost tissue.

The study led by Jeffrey Karp and James Ankrum (MIT graduate alumnus and former Hugh Hampton Young Fellow) of Harvard Stem Cell Institute at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital discussed how they used microparticles which supplied the cells with cues on how they should function over a period of time.

“Regardless of where the cell is in the body, it’s going to be receiving its cues from the inside,” Karp said in a news release. “This is a completely different strategy than the current method of placing cells onto drug-doped microcarriers or scaffolds, which is limiting because the cells need to remain in close proximity to those materials in order to function. Also these types of materials are too large to be infused into the bloodstream.”

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