A nanotechnology treatment derived from bone marrow stem cells has reversed multiple sclerosis symptoms in mice and could eventually be used to help humans, according to a new study led by University of California, Irvine researchers.

“Until now, stem cell therapies for autoimmune and neurodegenerative diseases have produced mixed results in clinical trials, partly because we don’t know how the treatments work,” said corresponding author Weian Zhao, an associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences and biomedical engineering who is affiliated with the Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center. “This study helps unravel that mystery and paves the way for testing with human patients.”

In past experiments, intravenously injected stem cells – taken from bone marrow and activated with interferon gamma, an immune system protein – often got trapped in filter organs before reaching their target. For this study, published in the journal ACS Nano, researchers avoided that problem by extracting nano-sized particles called exosomes from the stem cells and injecting them into rodents with MS.

Loaded with anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective RNA and protein molecules, the exosomes were able to slip through the blood-spinal cord barrier. In addition to rejuvenating lost motor skills and decreasing nerve damage caused by MS, they normalized the subjects’ immune systems, something conventional drugs can’t do, said study co-lead author Reza Mohammadi, a UCI doctoral candidate in materials science & engineering.

More experiments are in the pipeline…

Image Credit:  Public Domain

Thanks to Heinz V. Hoenen. Follow him on twitter  @HeinzVHoenen

Read more at nanowerk.com

News This Week

NanoApps Athletics Inc. Established

Frank Boehm (NanoApps Medical Inc. founder) and Amanda Scott (NA CEO) join NanoApps Athletics Inc. NanoApps Athletics Inc proposes a unique synergistic biochemical/nanomedical strategy for the expedited repair and healing of Achilles tendon micro [...]

Light in a new light

In a paper published in Nature's NPJ Quantum Information ("Multiphoton quantum-state engineering using conditional measurements"), Omar Magaña-Loaiza, assistant professor in the Louisiana State University (LSU) Department of Physics & Astronomy, and his team of [...]

Brain-computer interfaces without the mess

It sounds like science fiction: controlling electronic devices with brain waves. But researchers have developed a new type of electroencephalogram (EEG) electrode that can do just that, without the sticky gel required for conventional [...]