Research could have important applications in regenerative medicine and therapeutics
HUNTSVILLE, AL – July 9, 2013 — CFD Research Corporation has been awarded a two-year $1M contract from the DoD’s Defense Health Program to continue its research into the detection and sorting of stem cells according to their differentiation states.
Currently no label-free methods exist to reliably determine the differentiation state of a stem cell in a non-invasive manner. CFDRC researchers say the ability to do so may transform the field of stem cell research and open a clear path to clinical use of stem cells for regenerative medicine.
"The emerging importance of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) as research tools and potential cell therapeutics makes this an important class of stem cells to study," said Kapil Pant, Ph.D and CFDRC director of biomedical technology. Pant said the project will use human iPSCs as a starting point to evaluate the ability of their novel stem cell analyzer to identify and sort iPSCs and derivative cells based on their state of differentiation.
“We have demonstrated a non-invasive and label free technique based upon electrical impedance measurement,” said fellow researcher Yi Wang, Ph.D., and principal investigator. The technology includes a high-throughput sorting capability to collect and purify differentiated cells in a targeted pathway. “If you want to repair, for example, bone damage, you want to make sure you only use cells which have already differentiated along the bone cell pathway,” said Wang.
Wang stressed the importance of non-invasive techniques. “Current methods to determine differentiation states require modification of the cell with biomarkers or destructive techniques leading to statistical population assessments and as such cannot guarantee the purity of the sample population. Our method will directly detect the differentiation state with minimum effects and result in a purified stream of pathway differentiated cells.”
Stem cells for regenerative medicine could have both military and non-military applications. It could improve the treatment of burns and wounds, significantly reducing the recovery process for patients. It could also accelerate the growth of cells for use in treating spinal cord injuries and neuro-degenerative disorders.
CFD Research Corporation develops and commercializes innovative technologies for biomedical, energy, materials and aerospace markets. CFDRC, founded in 1987, is headquartered in Huntsville, Ala. About HudsonAlpha: The HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Huntsville, Alabama, is the cornerstone of the Cummings Research Park Biotechnology Campus. The campus hosts a synergistic cluster of life sciences talent – science, education and business professionals – that promises collaborative innovation to turn knowledge and ideas into commercial products and services for improving human health and strengthening Alabama’s progressively diverse economy. The non-profit institute is housed in a state-of-the-art, 270,000 square-ft. facility strategically located in the nation’s second largest research park. HudsonAlpha has a three-fold mission of genomic research, economic development and educational outreach.