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A Special Issue on 5th Annual Meeting of GSZ.
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Vol. IX Issue: 1: (JSRM Code: 009010100001)       Formats: PDF

Contributing Chemistry and Compelling Physics

Chemistry as an integral part of biology has been studied and utilised to yield numerous solutions in healthcare. Both the in vivo and in vitro applications of chemically synthesized compounds as drugs and the culture media used for cell culture respectively have been an indispensable tool in therapeutic and research arena in healthcare. The evolving specialty of regenerative medicine has been exploring the physical characteristics of the cell culture environment to see its effect on the behaviour of cells in vitro. For instance, mere change of matrix stiffness gives rise to a cascade of chemical events leading to different biological outputs as reported (1) in which softer matrices induced the mesenchymal stem cells to give rise to neuronal cells and increasing the matrix stiffness made the same stem cells to differentiate into chondrogenic and osteogenic lineages. The regulated movement of ions across membranes have been found to influence cell morphogenesis and stem cell regeneration (2). The influence of variety of media, reagents, growth factors, scaffolds etc. on the different types of cells and the varying needs of each type of cell are being continuously studied with an aim of advancing regenerative medicine based solutions.

In this issue, the article by Kazemnejad et al is reporting the role of wnt signalling on menstrual blood derived stem cells (MenSCs) by studying the influence of Lithium chloride on the proliferation of these cells. They have come out results that prove that the MenSCs have unique immunophenotyping properties and that Wnt signaling pathway regulates MenSCs proliferation via the trans-localization of activated-ß-catenin protein.  Another article by Sharma et al has focussed on the gene expression pathways and on the specific modification or modulation of a key molecular player of homing and engraftment of the hematopoietic progenitor cells which will help in enhancing the efficacy of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for haematological disorders and malignancies.

With these two original research articles throwing  a light upon the influence of various factors on stem cell proliferation, homing and engraftment, the article by Telpalo-Carpio  et al has attempted to provide a general scenario of the state of the art in the Induced Pluripotent Stem  (iPS) cells generation, giving a glimpse of the most important and promising emerging de-differentiation technologies of the various research groups all over the world who are extensively researching on this ‘most sought after cell type’.

 Though all ideas and innovations may not turn out to yield successful solutions and all researches may not end up in positive outcome, the article by Terunuma et al which provides an in-sight into the in vitro expansion of patients’ immune cells such as NK cells, and T cells using chemically synthesized culture media without any feeder layers, whose clinical outcome in tackling several tumours with long term follow-up is something really a tonic of encouragement to scientists.

Contribution of chemical moieties having been studied and translated to clinical applications, the physical forces' real worth have not yet been explored to the fullest. Time has come to dig, hig or boson them!

References:

  1. Engler AJ, Sen S, Sweeney HL, Discher DE. Matrix elasticity directs stem cell lineage specification. Cell. 2006 Aug 25;126(4):677-89.
  2. Adams DS. A new tool for tissue engineers: ions as regulators of morphogenesis during development and regeneration. Tissue Eng Part A. 2008 Sep;14(9):1461-8.
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