Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) and MSC-like cells hold great promise and offer many advantages for developing effective cellular therapeutics. Current trends indicate that the clinical application of MSC will continue to increase markedly. For clinical applications, large numbers of MSC are usually required, ideally in an off-the-shelf format, thus requiring extensive MSC expansion ex vivo and subsequent cryopreservation and banking.
Heart failure is one of the key causes of morbidity and mortality world-wide. The recent findings that regeneration is possible in the heart have made stem cell therapeutics the Holy Grail of modern cardiovascular medicine. The success of cardiac regenerative therapies hinges on the combination of an effective allogeneic "off the shelf" cell product with a practical delivery system. In 2007 Medistem discovered the Endometrial Regenerative Cell (ERC), a new mesenchymal-like stem cell. Medistem and subsequently independent groups have demonstrated that ERC are superior to bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSC), the most widely used stem cell source in development. ERC possess robust expansion capability (one donor can generate 20,000 patients doses), key growth factor production and high levels of angiogenic activity. ERC have been published in the peer reviewed literature to be significantly more effect at treating animal models of heart failure (Hida et al. Stem Cells 2008).Current methods of delivering stem cells into the heart suffer several limitations in addition to poor delivery efficiency. Surgical methods are highly invasive, and the classical catheter based techniques are limited by need for sophisticated cardiac mapping systems and risk of myocardial perforation. Medistem together with Dr. Amit Patel Director of Clinical Regenerative Medicine at University of Utah have developed a novel minimally invasive delivery method that has been demonstrated safe and effective for delivery of stem cells (Tuma et al. J Transl Med 2012). Medistem is evaluating the combination of ERC, together with our retrograde delivery procedure in a 60 heart failure patient, double blind, placebo controlled phase II trial. To date 17 patients have been dosed and preliminary analysis by the Data Safety Monitoring Board has allowed for trial continuation.The combined use of a novel "off the shelf" cell together with a minimally invasive 30 minute delivery method provides a potentially paradigm-shifting approach to cardiac regenerative therapy.
Facial rejuvenation is rapidly evolving sector in the field of facial aesthetics. There is a wide variety of dermal fillers and many more are in development. Over the past few years, the study of adult-derived stem cells has become a very active area of research. Adult stem cells are an attractive option for volume restoration and facial rejuvenation. Adult stem cells are isolated from adipose tissue-adipose derived stem cells and have mesodermal, ectodermal, and endodermal potentials. Adipose-derived stem cells could conceivably be an alternative to pluripotent embryonic stem cells and could play a critical role in the rapidly expanding fields of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. This article reviews the history of soft tissue augmentation using adipose tissue grafting and the advent of using adipose-derived stem cells. The state-of-the-art stem cell isolation technique as well as anticipated future therapeutic indications are also addressed.
BORIS, or CTCFL, the so called Brother of the Regulator of Imprinted Sites because of the extensive homology in the central DNA binding region of the protein to the related regulator, CTCF, is expressed in early gametogenesis and in multiple cancers but not in differentiated somatic cells. Thus it is a member of the cancer testes antigen group (CTAs). Since BORIS and CTCF target common DNA binding sites, these proteins function on two levels, the first level is their regulation via the methylation context of the DNA target site and the second level is their distinct and different epigenetic associations due to differences in the non-homologous termini of the proteins. The regulation on both of these levels is extensive and complex and the sphere of influence of each of these proteins is associated with vastly different cellular signaling processes. On the level of gene expression, BORIS has three known promoters and multiple spliced mRNAs which adds another level of complexity to this intriguing regulator. BORIS expression is observed in the majority of cancer tissues and cell lines analyzed up to today. The expression profile and essential role of BORIS in cancer make this molecule very attractive target for cancer immunotherapy. This review summarizes what is known about BORIS regarding its expression, structure, and function and then presents some theoretical considerations with respect to its genome wide influence and its potential for use as a vaccine for cancer immunotherapy.
SUMMARY: The packaging system chosen for biopreservation is critical for many reasons. An ideal biopreservation container system must provide for closure integrity, sample stability and ready access to the preserved material. This means the system needs to be hermetically sealed to ensure integrity of the specimen is maintained throughout processing, storage and distribution; the system must remain stable over long periods of time as many biobanked samples may be stored indefinitely; and functionally closed access systems must be used to avoid contamination upon sample withdraw. This study reviews the suitability of a new commercially available vial configuration container utilizing blood bag style closure and access systems that can be hermetically sealed and remain stable through cryopreservation and biobanking procedures. This vial based systems allow for current good manufacturing/tissue practice (cGTP) requirements during processing of samples and may provide the benefit of ease of delivery by a care giver. In this study, the CellSeal® closed system cryovial was evaluated and compared to standard screw cap vials. The CellSeal system was evaluated for durability, closure integrity through transportation and maintenance of functional viability of a cryopreserved mesenchymal stem cell model. The results of this initial proof-of-concept study indicated that the CellSeal vials are highly suitable for biopreservation and biobanking, and provide a suitable container system for clinical and commercial cell therapy products frozen in small volumes.
The expansion of cellular therapeutics will require large-scale manufacturing processes to expand and package cell products, which may not be feasible with current blood-banking bag technology. This study investigated the potential for freezing, storing and shipping cell therapy products using novel pharmaceutical-grade Crystal Zenith((R)) (CZ) plastic vials.
Cellular therapy for spinal cord injury (SCI) is overviewed focusing on bone marrow mononuclear cells, olfactory ensheathing cells, and mesenchymal stem cells. A case is made for the possibility of combining cell types, as well as for allogeneic use. We report the case of 29 year old male who suffered a crush fracture of the L1 vertebral body, lacking lower sensorimotor function, being a score A on the ASIA scale. Stem cell therapy comprised of intrathecal administration of allogeneic umbilical cord blood ex-vivo expanded CD34 and umbilical cord matrix MSC was performed 5 months, 8 months, and 14 months after injury. Cell administration was well tolerated with no adverse effects observed. Neuropathic pain subsided from intermittent 10/10 to once a week 3/10 VAS. Recovery of muscle, bowel and sexual function was noted, along with a decrease in ASIA score to "D". This case supports further investigation into allogeneic-based stem cell therapies for SCI.
Dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) are of interest to researchers and clinicians due to their ability to differentiate into various tissue types and potential uses in cell-mediated therapies and tissue engineering. Currently DPSCs are cryopreserved in suspension using Me(2)SO. However, preservation as two and three dimensional constructs, along with the elimination of toxic Me(2)SO, may be required. It was shown that intracellular ice formation (IIF), lethal to cells in suspensions, may be innocuous in cell monolayers due to ice propagation between cells through gap junctions that results in improved post-thaw recovery. We hypothesized that innocuous IIF protects confluent DPSC monolayers against injury during cryopreservation. The objective was to examine the effects of IIF on post-thaw viability of both confluent monolayers and suspensions of DPSCs. Confluent DPSC monolayers were assessed for the expression of gap junction protein Connexin-43. IIF was induced on the cryostage and in the methanol bath at different subzero temperatures. Membrane integrity and colony-forming ability were assessed post-thaw. Confluent DPSC monolayers expressed Connexin-43. In cell suspensions, 85.9+/-1.7% of cells were damaged after 100% IIF. In cell monolayers, after 100% IIF, only 25.5+/-5.5% and 14.8+/-3.3% of cells were damaged on the cryostage and in the methanol bath respectively. However, DPSC monolayers exposed to 100% IIF showed no colony-forming ability. We conclude that confluent monolayers of DPSCs express the gap junction-forming protein Connexin-43 and upon IIF retain membrane integrity, however lose the ability to proliferate.
Partial phase diagrams are of considerable utility in the development of optimized cryobiological procedures. Recent theoretical predictions of the melting points of ternary solutions of interest to cryobiology have caused us to re-examine measurements that our group made for the ethylene-glycol-sodium chloride-water phase diagram. Here we revisit our previous experiments by measuring melting points at five ethylene-glycol to sodium chloride ratios (R values; R=5, 10, 15, 30, and 45) and five levels of concentration for each ratio. Melting points were averaged from three measurements and plotted as a function of total solute concentration for each R value studied. The new measurements differed from our original experimental values and agreed with predicted values from both theoretical models. Additionally, the data were fit to the polynomial described in our previous report and the resulting equation was obtained: T(m) = (38.3-2.145 x 10?¹ R)w + (81.19 - 2.909×10?¹ R)w², where w is the total solute mass fraction. This new equation provided good fits to the experimental data as well as published values and relates the determined polynomial constants to the R value of the corresponding isopleths of the three dimensional phase diagram, allowing the liquids curve for any R value to be obtained.
Patients with congestive heart failure (CHF) that are not eligible for transplantation have limited therapeutic options. Stem cell therapy such as autologous bone marrow, mobilized peripheral blood, or purified cells thereof has been used clinically since 2001. To date over 1000 patients have received cellular therapy as part of randomized trials, with the general consensus being that a moderate but statistically significant benefit occurs. Therefore, one of the important next steps in the field is optimization. In this paper we discuss three ways to approach this issue: a) increasing stem cell migration to the heart; b) augmenting stem cell activity; and c) combining existing stem cell therapies to recapitulate a "therapeutic niche". We conclude by describing a case report of a heart failure patient treated with a combination stem cell protocol in an attempt to augment beneficial aspects of cord blood CD34 cells and mesenchymal-like stem cells.
There has been a great deal of scientific interest recently generated by the potential therapeutic applications of adult stem cells in human care but there are several challenges regarding quality and safety in clinical applications and a number of these challenges relate to the processing and banking of these cells ex-vivo. As the number of clinical trials and the variety of adult cells used in regenerative therapy increases, safety remains a primary concern. This has inspired many nations to formulate guidelines and standards for the quality of stem cell collection, processing, testing, banking, packaging and distribution. Clinically applicable cryopreservation and banking of adult stem cells offers unique opportunities to advance the potential uses and widespread implementation of these cells in clinical applications. Most current cryopreservation protocols include animal serum proteins and potentially toxic cryoprotectant additives (CPAs) that prevent direct use of these cells in human therapeutic applications. Long term cryopreservation of adult stem cells under good manufacturing conditions using animal product free solutions is critical to the widespread clinical implementation of ex-vivo adult stem cell therapies. Furthermore, to avoid any potential cryoprotectant related complications, reduced CPA concentrations and efficient post-thaw washing to remove CPA are also desirable. The present review focuses on the current strategies and important aspects of adult stem cell banking for clinical applications. These include current good manufacturing practices (cGMPs), animal protein free freezing solutions, cryoprotectants, freezing & thawing protocols, viability assays, packaging and distribution. The importance and benefits of banking clinical grade adult stem cells are also discussed.
Dental pulp is a promising source of mesenchymal stem cells with the potential for cell-mediated therapies and tissue engineering applications. We recently reported that isolation of dental pulp-derived stem cells (DPSC) is feasible for at least 120h after tooth extraction, and that cryopreservation of early passage cultured DPSC leads to high-efficiency recovery post-thaw. This study investigated additional processing and cryobiological characteristics of DPSC, ending with development of procedures for banking. First, we aimed to optimize cryopreservation of established DPSC cultures, with regards to optimizing the cryoprotective agent (CPA), the CPA concentration, the concentration of cells frozen, and storage temperatures. Secondly, we focused on determining cryopreservation characteristics of enzymatically digested tissue as a cell suspension. Lastly, we evaluated the growth, surface markers and differentiation properties of DPSC obtained from intact teeth and undigested, whole dental tissue frozen and thawed using the optimized procedures. In these experiments it was determined that Me(2)SO at a concentration between 1 and 1.5M was the ideal cryopreservative of the three studied. It was also determined that DPSC viability after cryopreservation is not limited by the concentration of cells frozen, at least up to 2x10(6) cells/mL. It was further established that DPSC can be stored at -85 degrees C or -196 degrees C for at least six months without loss of functionality. The optimal results with the least manipulation were achieved by isolating and cryopreserving the tooth pulp tissues, with digestion and culture performed post-thaw. A recovery of cells from >85% of the tissues frozen was achieved and cells isolated post-thaw from tissue processed and frozen with a serum free, defined cryopreservation medium maintained morphological and developmental competence and demonstrated MSC-hallmark trilineage differentiation under the appropriate culture conditions.
Endometrial Regenerative Cells (ERC) are a population of mesenchymal-like stem cells having pluripotent differentiation activity and ability to induce neoangiogenesis. In vitro and animal studies suggest ERC are immune privileged and in certain situations actively suppress ongoing immune responses. In this paper we describe the production of clinical grade ERC and initial safety experiences in 4 patients with multiple sclerosis treated intravenously and intrathecally. The case with the longest follow up, of more than one year, revealed no immunological reactions or treatment associated adverse effects. These preliminary data suggest feasibility of clinical ERC administration and support further studies with this novel stem cell type.
Despite the successes of recombinant hematopoietic-stimulatory factors at accelerating bone marrow reconstitution and shortening the neutropenic period post-transplantation, significant challenges remain such as cost, inability to reconstitute thrombocytic lineages, and lack of efficacy in conditions such as aplastic anemia. A possible means of accelerating hematopoietic reconstitution would be administration of cells capable of secreting hematopoietic growth factors. Advantages of this approach would include: a) ability to regulate secretion of cytokines based on biological need; b) long term, localized production of growth factors, alleviating need for systemic administration of factors that possess unintended adverse effects; and c) potential to actively repair the hematopoietic stem cell niche. Here we overview the field of hematopoietic growth factors, discuss previous experiences with mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) in accelerating hematopoiesis, and conclude by putting forth the rationale of utilizing exogenous endothelial cells as a novel cellular therapy for acceleration of hematopoietic recovery.
Coral reefs are experiencing unprecedented degradation due to human activities, and protecting specific reef habitats may not stop this decline, because the most serious threats are global (i.e., climate change), not local. However, ex situ preservation practices can provide safeguards for coral reef conservation. Specifically, modern advances in cryobiology and genome banking could secure existing species and genetic diversity until genotypes can be introduced into rehabilitated habitats. We assessed the feasibility of recovering viable sperm and embryonic cells post-thaw from two coral species, Acropora palmata and Fungia scutaria that have diffferent evolutionary histories, ecological niches and reproductive strategies. In vitro fertilization (IVF) of conspecific eggs using fresh (control) spermatozoa revealed high levels of fertilization (>90% in A. palmata; >84% in F. scutaria; P>0.05) that were unaffected by tested sperm concentrations. A solution of 10% dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) at cooling rates of 20 to 30°C/min most successfully cryopreserved both A. palmata and F. scutaria spermatozoa and allowed producing developing larvae in vitro. IVF success under these conditions was 65% in A. palmata and 53% in F. scutaria on particular nights; however, on subsequent nights, the same process resulted in little or no IVF success. Thus, the window for optimal freezing of high quality spermatozoa was short (?5 h for one night each spawning cycle). Additionally, cryopreserved F. scutaria embryonic cells had?50% post-thaw viability as measured by intact membranes. Thus, despite some differences between species, coral spermatozoa and embryonic cells are viable after low temperature (-196°C) storage, preservation and thawing. Based on these results, we have begun systematically banking coral spermatozoa and embryonic cells on a large-scale as a support approach for preserving existing bio- and genetic diversity found in reef systems.
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