Despite recent remarkable advances in the treatment of some cancers, pancreatic cancer patients still have one of the worst survival rates. Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma’s (PDAC) five-year survival is only 2%-9%. This poor prognosis can largely be attributed to two major factors. Firstly, owing to relatively benign presenting features, the disease is not diagnosed until it has progressed to advanced or metastatic stages in >70% of patients.
Vegetarianism and veganism have become increasingly popular over the last few years, with the number of vegans increasing. In the UK for example, veganism has increased from 150,000 in 2014 to 600,000 in 2019. This is equivalent to about 0.8% of the population. Ten countries have rates of vegetarianism above 10%. The most common reasons people chose to undertake a dietary change relate to both the environmental impact of animal agriculture and, of course, animal welfare. With this in mind, could lab=grown meat provide a more ethical way for people to include meat products in their diet?
Anyone working in stem cell culture is painfully aware of the short half-lives of growth factors. These very expensive little proteins rapidly degrade which means time and money spent replacing them. But the ephemeral nature of growth factors is critical to their functionality
Matrigel and similar products such as Geltrex, have become essential reagents for 3D cell culture. Matrigel contains a mixture of major basement-membrane extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins (e.g. laminin, collagen IV, entactin and the heparin sulphate proteoglycan perlecan). It is also packed with growth factors and many enzymes. As such, it provides an ideal structural and biological environment for culturing cells and is used in a myriad of applications in many formats.
Hydrogels are defined as a 3-dimensional network capable of absorbing water without becoming solvated - a property they share with most soft tissues within the body. This similarity has led to rising levels of research focussed on using hydrogels in the field of tissue engineering and regeneration as analogues for ECM and assisting wound healing, as well as extensive use in contact lens production both for vision corrective as well as therapeutic treatments
In drug development, the term Trojan horse encompasses a variety of strategies to deliver drugs in a concealed, safe and efficient way to the target. The main objectives of this strategy are firstly to overcome barriers, such as the blood brain-barrier or simply the cell membrane, which shield the target (Troy) from a drug (the Greeks), secondly, to specifically attack the disease rather than the whole body and thirdly, to achieve a slow drug release over time with no sudden concentration peaks. This approach does not only sound awesome on a metaphoric level, but also makes use of some nifty biological tricks.
Exosomes are cell-secreted vesicles with a diameter between 30-150nm which contain producer cell-derived protein, lipid and nucleic acid cargoes. Exosomes complex structure, coated with various membrane-bound proteins, can permeate target cells, enabling direct cell-to-cell communication between neighbouring and distant cells. Now researchers are looking at the possibility of using exosomes derived from plants for therapeutic applications
The characterisation of exosomes via multiple, complimentary techniques is necessary as a basic step to understand the sample before any further analysis. Here we discuss how products and services from Cell Guidance Systems can help with this important task.
Exosomes play an important role in both local and systemic cellular communication, carrying most types of biomolecules (including DNAs, RNAs, proteins and lipids) between cells and tissues. The properties of exosomes may allow us to utilize them for therapeutic and clinical purposes. Cancer management is an attractive target.
A recent study published by collaborators working in Chile is the first to describe some remarkable anti-bacterial properties of exosome-like vesicles (ELVs) isolated from honeybee products including honey, royal jelly and pollen