Cell Guidance Systems Blog

Building a brake pedal: MDSCs as targets for immunotherapy

Building a brake pedal: MDSCs as targets for immunotherapy

The immune response is orchestrated. There are mechanisms to activate and deactivate activities. Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) are immune cells that act as regulators of immune responses. They are important in several diseases including tumor growth and the response to cancer therapies, Graft-Versus-Host Disease (GVHD), various autoimmune diseases, and COVID-19. Novel drugs developed to modulate MDSCs are showing promise with ongoing clinical trials for COVID-19 and some cancers.

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Alternatives to CRISPR-Cas9

Alternatives to CRISPR-Cas9

The impact of CRISPR-Cas9 technology is undeniable. Yet, it is not without limitations. As such, researchers have since adopted modifications to the original technology as well as alternatives that address some of these limitations.

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Bone shaker: Using nanovibrations to induce bone formation

Bone shaker: Using nanovibrations to induce bone formation

Increasingly, the key roles of biophysical cues in modulating stem cell response have been studied in vitro. Based on the ability of cells to actively sense and react to their microenvironment through mechanotransduction systems, these studies have shown that the growth and differentiation of stem cells can be controlled—even in the absence of biochemical stimuli such as growth factors. These reports further suggest that the stimulation delivered by biophysical cues actually have advantages over biochemical stimuli.

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Peptides set to power a drug revolution

Peptides set to power a drug revolution

Among the five classes of therapeutics, peptides represent a unique niche of pharmaceutical compounds within the protein class. The excitement surrounding peptide therapy arises from their distinct physical and biochemical features that present an opportunity for therapeutic intervention that can specifically target a wide range of cells and manipulate their response on a molecular level. However, challenges around their pharmacokinetics, notably poor stability have hampered more widespread use. Addressing these issues will release a new wave of drugs for urgent medical challenges such as anti-microbial resistance.

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Transmission of cytokines in pregnant mothers infected with SARS-CoV2

Transmission of cytokines in pregnant mothers infected with SARS-CoV2

The effect of Covid on pregnant women is of great importance particularly in relation to the development of cytokine storms and the harmful effects these can have. A recent study published in Nature Immunology reported on maternal SARS-CoV2 infection and transmission of cytokines and antibodies to the neonate.

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The origins of a cytokine storm

The origins of a cytokine storm

A healthy immune system is essential for defending against pathogens. However, it can also present as a liability rather than an asset. The greatest threat to survival in some of the most critical COVID-19 cases and other medical emergencies isn’t the infection itself, but rather an uncontrolled immune response to the infection that the human body sometimes generates. Understanding the genesis of a cytokine storm is key to developing strategies to prevent the immune system spiraling out of control.

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Reducing growth factor costs for cultured meat production

Reducing growth factor costs for cultured meat production

Producing lab-grown meat – made with animal cells grown in bioreactors – is a promising avenue for sustainable meat production. However, scaling up this process to produce tons of meat at a reasonable cost is difficult. One of the hurdles in the scaling process is producing the large quantities of growth factors required for culturing muscle and other cells.

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Decoy devices to capture and neutralize inflammatory cytokines

Decoy devices to capture and neutralize inflammatory cytokines

Growing evidence regarding the side effects of currently available anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs, antibiotics, etc.) and concerns around their appropriate role during cytokine storms has triggered a new era of innovation in the treatment of immune-mediated diseases. Owning to the ubiquitous nature and expanding role of cytokines in the various biological phenomena, anticytokine therapies have gained a leading role in this context.

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Long COVID and autoimmunity: the role of cytokines

Long COVID and autoimmunity: the role of cytokines

Why COVID-19 pathogenesis varies so widely between different in SARS-CoV2 infected individuals has remained somewhat of a mystery. However, cytokines have served as a prognostic marker for COVID-19 disease course and outcome and their involvement is closely connected with the development of Long COVID.

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Stabilizing and storing exosomes

Stabilizing and storing  exosomes

Exosomes represent a potential sweet spot between small molecules, biologics, and cell therapies for a future as highly potent multifaceted biopharmaceuticals. Studies that are leading towards clinical applications have raised expectations that exosomes will eventually provide treatment for a wide range of orphan diseases. From basic research to clinical application, the ability to stably store exosomes whilst maintaining their unique characteristics is fundamental to their research and therapeutic development.

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