Two Life Technologies Employees Speak at Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Conference
by Jennifer Hornstein - 03/23/12
The three-day international Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine conference with a focus on therapeutics creates a common platform for the exchange of information about important findings in stem cell biology and clinical trials. The conference brings international experience from the fields of research and development, academia and business.
The Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine conference features more than 20 renowned international speakers and in-depth discussions on scientific discoveries, applications, business models, regulatory requirements and best practices.
Two of the speakers at this conference are employees of Life Technologies.
Life Technologies Speakers:
Mohan C. Vemuri, Director, R&D, Stem Cells, Life Technologies
Uma Lakshmipathy, Sr. Staff Scientist, Biology, Life Technologies
Mohan Vemuri’s presentation
Developing Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells based on Cell Therapy for Parkinson’s Disease
The prospects of cell intervention therapy for Parkinson’s disease clearly depend on the successful derivation of dopaminergic precursor cells from pluripotent stem cells in large numbers required for translational medicine. The dopaminergic precursor cells so derived should meet the regulatory compliance for safety and efficacy. It is essential that, not just the final product, but the entire processes of generating such cells for therapy should be in xeno-free conditions and use reagents made in GMP settings, which include the derivation and expansion of pluripotent stem cells to create a master cell bank, and the differentiation of pluripotent stem cells into dopaminergic precursor cells. Before they are used in translational pre-clinical and clinical paradigms, the bank of pluripotent stem cells have to be validated, the standard operation protocols (SOPs) to enable lineage directed differentiation towards dopaminergic precursor cells have to be established, and dopaminergic precursor cells have to be well characterized.
This presentation addresses the developments in this niche area, discusses efficient ways to generate human dopaminergic precursor cells, presents cellular/molecular characterization of cells and demonstrates their efficacy to produce dopamine levels for use in transplantation in experimental models of Parkinson’s disease and in drug screening paradigms of Parkinson’s disease.
Uma Lakshmipathy’s presentation
Stem Cell Therapy Relevant Scaffolds and Matrices
Stem cells hold immense potential in Regenerative Medicine due to their ability to grow indefinitely and differentiate into a desired cell lineage while maintaining an unaltered genome. However, their utility for downstream clinical applications relies on the ability to expand cells in large scale under defined culture conditions. Besides growth media, matrix is a critical component that provides the necessary cues for stem cell maintenance and differentiation.
An ideal synthetic matrix would create a microenvironment for stem cell expansion but also be modular such that it can be adapted to support robust differentiation into lineage of choice. We have evaluated several defined synthetic surfaces in comparison to traditional ECM molecules for pluripotent stem cell culture. Matrices that supported pluripotent maintenance in long term cultures were used for large-scale feeder-free expansion of ESC. These cells were further differentiated towards neural lineage to generate therapy-compliant cells derived under defined conditions. Recently, the concept of mechanobiological stimulation has become important as differentiation is linked to mechanical signals that modulate tissue cell phenotype therefore acting as potent regulators of stem cell behavior. AlgiMatrix, an alginate-based polymer, was further used to create a microenvironment that induces differentiation of Mesenchymal stem cells using a synergy of mechanical and biological cues.
The ultimate goal of creating physiologically relevant screening models and advanced applications of stem cells in cell therapy relies on rational design and development of biomaterials with unique mechanical properties that enable 2 and 3 dimensional culture for stem cell expansion and efficiently trigger stem cell differentiation.
Conference website: www.stemcell2012.com