PODS®

A glitch in the matrix: matrikines and matricryptins

A glitch in the matrix: matrikines and matricryptins

Extracellular proteins and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) within the extracellular matrix (ECM) undergo limited enzymatic cleavage to release fragments which exert biological activities that are distinct from their full-length progenitors. These fragments regulate a range of processes including angiogenesis, inflammation, wound healing and fibrosis and have been implicated in many diseases including neurodegeneration and cancer.

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Culture shock: cells find it hard to fit in

Culture shock: cells find it hard to fit in

Just like people, cells can take a while to adapt to a new environment. For cells cultured in-vivo, its possible to wean cells on to new conditions. However, when cells are implanted, moving from in-vitro to in-vivo conditions, weaning isn’t an option. The resultant culture shock can kill most of the transplanted cells.

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CNS therapy: Can the blood brain barrier be overcome?

CNS therapy: Can the blood brain barrier be overcome?

Diseases that primarily affect the brain, often resulting in dementia, are some of the most prevalent, devastating, and yet poorly treated of all diseases. Despite advances in our knowledge of basic neurosciences, the failure rate for new drugs targeting important central nervous system (CNS) diseases still exceeds most other areas of drug discovery. A significant barrier to drug development for these diseases is presented by the blood-brain barrier (BBB).

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Virus-like particles better than AAV?

Virus-like particles better than AAV?

A recent paper exploring the use of optimized virus like particles (VLPs) to deliver base editing proteins has shown impressive levels of efficacy and, importantly, low levels of off-target activity in mouse models of therapy for brain, eye and liver disease.

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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 going to be difficult. One of the main hurdles in the scaling process is producing the large quantities of growth factors required for culturing muscle and other cells.

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Neutrophils' suicidal NETosis empowers macrophages

Neutrophils' suicidal NETosis empowers macrophages

Neutrophils and macrophages are key players in the early immune response to infection. In a recent paper, published in Science Advances, a team of researchers at Vanderbilt University have further explored neutrophil NETosis, a process whereby neutrophils initially secrete, and ultimately autolyse, to generate a sticky mesh which immobilizes the pathogen. The researchers have shown that this mesh actively enables and empowers the subsequent activity of macrophages.

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