Navigation Links
MIT creates tiny backpacks for cells
Date:11/6/2008

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- MIT engineers have outfitted cells with tiny "backpacks" that could allow them to deliver chemotherapy agents, diagnose tumors or become building blocks for tissue engineering.

Michael Rubner, director of MIT's Center for Materials Science and Engineering and senior author of a paper on the work that appeared online in Nano Letters on Nov. 5, said he believes this is the first time anyone has attached such a synthetic patch to a cell.

The polymer backpacks allow researchers to use cells to ferry tiny cargoes and manipulate their movements using magnetic fields. Since each patch covers only a small portion of the cell surface, it does not interfere with the cell's normal functions or prevent it from interacting with the external environment.

"The goal is to perturb the cell as little as possible," said Robert Cohen, the St. Laurent Professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT and an author of the paper.

The researchers worked with B and T cells, two types of immune cells that can home to various tissues in the body, including tumors, infection sites, and lymphoid tissues a trait that could be exploited to achieve targeted drug or vaccine delivery.

"The idea is that we use cells as vectors to carry materials to tumors, infection sites or other tissue sites," said Darrell Irvine, an author of the paper and associate professor of materials science and engineering and biological engineering.

Cellular backpacks carrying chemotherapy agents could target tumor cells, while cells equipped with patches carrying imaging agents could help identify tumors by binding to protein markers expressed by cancer cells.

Another possible application is in tissue engineering. Patches could be designed that allow researchers to align cells in a certain pattern, eliminating the need for a tissue scaffold.

The polymer patch system consists of three layers, each with a different function, stacked onto a surface. The bottom layer tethers the polymer to the surface, the middle layer contains the payload, and the top layer serves as a "hook" that catches and binds cells.

Once the layers are set up, cells enter the system and flow across the surface, getting stuck on the polymer hooks. The patch is then detached from the surface by simply lowering the temperature, and the cells float away, with backpacks attached.

"The rest of the cell is untouched and able to interact with the environment," said Albert Swiston, lead author of the paper and a graduate student in materials science and engineering.

The researchers found that T cells with backpacks were able to perform their normal functions, including migrating across a surface, just as they would without anything attached.

By loading the backpacks with magnetic nanoparticles, the researchers can control the cells' movement with a magnetic field.

Because the polymer synthesis and assembly takes place before the patches are attached to cells, there is plenty of opportunity to tweak the process to improve the polymers' effectiveness and ensure they won't be toxic to cells, the researchers say.


'/>"/>

Contact: Teresa Herbert
therbert@mit.edu
617-258-5403
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Early-stage gene transcription creates access to DNA
2. MIT creates new material for fuel cells
3. Novel living system recreates predator-prey interaction
4. Using evolution, UW team creates a template for many new therapeutic agents
5. Auto immune response creates barrier to fertility; could be a step in speciation
6. MIT creates 3-D images of living cell
7. Accelerometer backpacks aid study of gliding behavior in the flying lemur
8. Scripps research scientists identify compounds for stem-cell production from adult cells
9. Lung airway cells activate vitamin D and increase immune response
10. New method provides panoramic view of protein-RNA interactions in living cells
11. Simple chemical procedure augments therapeutic potential of stem cells
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/27/2017)... March 27, 2017  Catholic Health Services (CHS) ... Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics for achieving Stage 6 ... sm . In addition, CHS previously earned a ... using an electronic medical record (EMR). ... level of EMR usage in an outpatient setting.  ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... The Controller General of Immigration from Maldives Mr. ... have received the prestigious international IAIR Award for the most innovative ... ... Maldives Immigration ... Algeen (small picture on the right) have received the IAIR award for ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... , Mar 24, 2017 Research and ... Access System Market Analysis & Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" ... ... to grow at a CAGR of around 15.1% over the next ... This industry report analyzes the market estimates and forecasts for all ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/27/2017)... , March 27, 2017 DarioHealth Corp. ... mobile health and big data solutions, today announced that ... insurance coverage option for U.S. consumers who want to ... DarioHealth has signed strategic alliance agreements with partners ... insurance coverage benefits, and if approved, will supply and ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... BEIJING , March 24, 2017 Sinovac Biotech Ltd. ... products in China , today announced that its ... the expiration date of the plan from March 27, 2017 to ... proposal. About Sinovac Biotech Ltd. ... Sinovac Biotech Ltd. is ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... ... proud to announce it has become the premiere team-building cooking event company in San Diego. ... such as Illumina, HP and Qualcomm, and is ranked #1 in its category on Trip ... its new team building format, a way for teams to not only interact with one ...
(Date:3/23/2017)...  BioPharmX Corporation (NYSE MKT: BPMX), a specialty ... today reported financial results for the quarter and ... an update on the company,s clinical development efforts ... are pleased to report that last year was ... Anja Krammer. "We achieved key clinical milestones and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: