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Institute for Bioengineering and Biosciences
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Minicircle‐based Expression of VEGF in Mesenchymal Stromal Cells from Human Tissues

Minicircle‐based Expression of VEGF in Mesenchymal Stromal Cells from Human Tissues | iBB | Scoop.it

Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) have been exploited for the treatment of ischemic diseases given their angiogenic potential. A recent study published in the Journal of Gene Medicine by BERG and SCERG researchers compares the angiogenic potential of MSC obtained from bone marrow (BM), adipose tissue (AT) and umbilical cord matrix (UCM) that were genetically modified with VEGF‐encoding minicircle vectors. Transfected cells displayed higher in vitro angiogenic potential than non‐transfected controls, as demonstrated by functional in vitro assays, but no significant differences were observed among cells from different sources.

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Engineering Human MSC with VEGF-encoding Minicircles for Angiogenic Gene Therapy

Engineering Human MSC with VEGF-encoding Minicircles for Angiogenic Gene Therapy | iBB | Scoop.it

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a debilitating condition characterized by the blockage of arteries, which leads to limb amputation in more severe cases. Researchers from SCERG- and BERG-iBB propose the use of human bone marrow (BM) MSC transiently transfected with minicircles encoding for VEGF as an ex vivo gene therapy strategy to enhance angiogenesis in PAD patients. The data shows that VEGF overexpression improved the angiogenic potential of MSC in vitro, as confirmed by endothelial cell tube formation and cell migration assays.These results suggest that minicircle-mediated VEGF gene delivery, combined with the unique properties of human MSC, could represent a promising ex vivo gene therapy approach to improve angiogenesis in the context of PAD. The work was published in Human Gene Therapy.

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Joana Serra to Defend PhD Thesis in Bioengineering

Joana Serra to Defend PhD Thesis in Bioengineering | iBB | Scoop.it

Joana Serra will be defending her PhD thesis in Bioengineering at Instituto Superior Técnico, friday the 7th June 2019 (10:30 H, room Q4.41). During the last years, and under the supervision of Miguel Prazeres from BERG-iBB and Cláudia Lobato-Silva from SCERG-iBB, Joana focused her efforts on the genetic modification of mesenchymal stem/stromal cells with VEGF-coding minicircles to improve their therapeutic features in the context of ischemia. The title of her thesis is "Ex-vivo gene therapy to improve the regenerative features of human mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSC) in a model of limb ischemia".

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