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Increasing Yields of Cytochrome B5 in Bioreactors

Increasing Yields of Cytochrome B5 in Bioreactors | iBB | Scoop.it

The production of recombinant proteins is gaining increasing importance as several applications request high quality proteins. However, several process parameters affect both the growth of cells and product yields. In a paper recently published in the journal Molecules, Ricardo FS Pereira and Carla CCR de Carvalho (iBB-BERG) used high throughput systems and statistical methods to assess the influence of fermentation conditions in lab-scale bioreactors. Using partial least squares, it was found that the height-to-diameter ratio of the bioreactor, aeration rate, and PID controller parameters contributed significantly to the final biomass and cytochrome concentrations. This information was used to fine-tune the process parameters, which increased cytochrome production and yield several-fold.

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Controlling Biofilm Establishment Since the First Touch

Controlling Biofilm Establishment Since the First Touch | iBB | Scoop.it

Candida glabrata’s ability to cause human infections is tightly linked to its impressive ability to form persistent biofilms. The molecular control of this process is far from being clarified, as it lacks many of the typical features displayed by other Candida species. In this study, a combination of genetic screening, RNA-seq based transcriptomics, and Single-Cell Force Spectroscopy (SCFS), enabled the observation that the transcription factor CgEfg1, but not CgTec1, is necessary for the initial interaction of C. glabrata cells with both abiotic surfaces used in medical devices and epithelial cells, while both transcription factors orchestrate biofilm maturation. The knowledge gathered through this study by former PhD student Mafalda Cavalheiro, and an international team led by Miguel Cacho Teixeira, BSRG-iBB, including Etienne Dague, LAAS-CNRS, Geraldine Butler, University College Dublin, and Arsénio Fialho, BSRG-iBB, and just published in Communications Biology, is expected to contribute to guide the design of more successful therapeutic approaches.

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Manufacture of Microfibers of Polyhydroxyalkanoate from Cassava Peel Waste by Electrospinning

Manufacture of Microfibers of Polyhydroxyalkanoate from Cassava Peel Waste by Electrospinning | iBB | Scoop.it

Cassava (Manihot esculenta) cultivation is of great importance in many economies, particularly in Colombia. About 630,000 tons of C-rich cassava waste is produced annually and applications to high value products, applying the circular economy concept, must be developed. A recent publication in Journal of Polymers and the Environment assesses the potential use of cassava peel for the production of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) by Cupriavidus necator. A copolymer of P3HB-3HV was produced and processed into electrospun meshes of random and aligned microfibers, allowing the development of structures that can be applied in the context of tissue engineering. This work involved Manuela Fonseca, Frederico Ferreita and Teresa Cesário form BERG-IBB and has been done in collaboration with researchers from the University of Antioquia, Medellin-Colombia.

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Increasing Yields of Cytochrome B5 in Bioreactors

Increasing Yields of Cytochrome B5 in Bioreactors | iBB | Scoop.it

The production of recombinant proteins is gaining increasing importance as several applications request high quality proteins. However, several process parameters affect both the growth of cells and product yields. In a paper recently published in the journal Molecules, Ricardo FS Pereira and Carla CCR de Carvalho (iBB-BERG) used high throughput systems and statistical methods to assess the influence of fermentation conditions in lab-scale bioreactors. Using partial least squares, it was found that the height-to-diameter ratio of the bioreactor, aeration rate, and PID controller parameters contributed significantly to the final biomass and cytochrome concentrations. This information was used to fine-tune the process parameters, which increased cytochrome production and yield several-fold.

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Cláudia Godinho Awarded the FEMS Science Communication Award 2021

Cláudia Godinho Awarded the FEMS Science Communication Award 2021 | iBB | Scoop.it

Cláudia P. Godinho, PhD researcher at the BSRG-iBB, is the winner of the first FEMS Science Communication Award. Cláudia’s contributions to several projects that aim to promote public understanding of microbiology topics were considered of relevance, especially her work as a volunteer for the International Microorganism Day. The award biennially distinguishes Europe-based microbiologists that apply science communications and public relations to contribute significantly to the public discourse about science and evidence. The winner was announced on 23rd July in the online conference World Microbe Forum, a collaboration between the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), the Federation of European Microbiological Societies (FEMS), and several other societies. The awardee would like to acknowledge all those involved in the commemorations of the International Microorganism Day since 2017, the Portuguese Society of Microbiology for the recommendation for the prize, and her PhD supervisor, mentor and former President of the Portuguese Society of Microbiology Professor Isabel Sá-Correia.

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BSRG-iBB at TVI “A Hora da Verdade” Myth-busting Program

BSRG-iBB at TVI “A Hora da Verdade” Myth-busting Program | iBB | Scoop.it

Cláudia P. Godinho, PhD researcher at Sá-Correia’s lab in BSRG-iBB, participated in the clarification of a well-known myth for the TVI news section “A Hora da Verdade”. The participation can be watched here. The 5-second rule states a time window of 5 seconds where it is safe to pick up food after it has been dropped to the floor. The experimental setup organized at the iBB Biological Sciences Research Group Laboratories contributed to demonstrate that the transfer of bacteria from a contaminated floor to food takes less than 5 seconds to happen and that the “rule” is in fact false.

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Adaptation to Acetic Acid Stress Involves Structural Alterations and Increased Stiffness of the Yeast Cell Wall

Adaptation to Acetic Acid Stress Involves Structural Alterations and Increased Stiffness of the Yeast Cell Wall | iBB | Scoop.it

The role of the cell wall in yeast response and tolerance to stress is frequently neglected. A BSRG-iBB research paper just published in Scientific Reports, provides, for the first time, a comprehensive view of the alterations occurring at the cell wall in a yeast population adapting to sub-lethal stress induced by acetic acid. The results reveal changes to the cell wall polysaccharide composition and nanomechanical properties, as well as alterations in the transcript levels of key cell wall biosynthetic genes. This paper reinforces the notion that the adaptive yeast response to acetic acid involves coordinated alterations of the cell wall at the biophysical and molecular levels. The gathered knowledge is important for the design of superior industrial strains and for the efficient control of the deleterious activity of spoilage yeasts, particularly in the Food Industry. This research work is first-authored by the PhD student of the PhD programme in Biotechnology and Biosciences Ricardo Ribeiro (FCT_DP AEM fellowship), performed under the supervision of Isabel Sá-Correia. This collaborative study with Fábio Fernandes (BSIRG-iBB) and Mário S. Rodrigues and his team (BioISI, Faculty of Sciences, ULisboa), is also coauthored by Cláudia Godinho (posdoc researcher) and the PhD student Nuno Bourbon-Melo (FCT_DP BIOTECnico) from the BSRG-iBB team.

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Determination of Recombination Efficiency in Minicircle Production by Real-time PCR

Determination of Recombination Efficiency in Minicircle Production by Real-time PCR | iBB | Scoop.it

The determination of the recombination efficiency and the monitoring of parental plasmids (PP), minicircles (MC) and miniplasmid (MP) species during processing and in the final product are critical aspects of minicircle manufacturing. A paper published in Analytical Biochemistry by BERG-iBB researchers Cláudia Alves, Miguel Prazeres and Gabriel Monteiro describes a real-time PCR method for the specific identification of PP, MP or MC that uses sets of primers specific for each species. The results presented indicate that the method can be applied for the determination of recombination efficiency in pure DNA samples.

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Meeting with i4HB Researchers - Science Policy Dialogues

Meeting with i4HB Researchers - Science Policy Dialogues | iBB | Scoop.it

More than 80 researchers from the Associate Laboratory (LA) Institute for Health and Bioeconomy (i4HB) participated in the Meeting with Researchers “ Science Policy Dialogues”, which took place last Wednesday, June 2nd, on the IST-Taguspark campus. The event was attended by the Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, Professor Manuel Heitor, promoter of these meetings with the scientific community, the President of the Foundation for Science and Technology, Professor Helena Pereira and the President of IST, Professor Rogério Colaço. The motto of this type of meeting is the debate on public science policies for Portugal and Europe, most focused on careers development. This meeting was also the launching of this new Associate Laboratory.

In addition to being a unique moment to share concerns, clarify doubts and think about the future of Science, the event served as the first contact between researchers of the consortium that is at the origin of i4HB. The newly formed LA brings together the Institute of Bioengineering and Biosciences (iBB) at IST (Coordinator of i4HB and iBB Professor Joaquim Cabral), the Institute of Systems and Computer Engineering “ Microsystems and Nanotechnologies (INESC-MN) (Coordinator Professor Paulo Freitas) and the Applied Biomolecular Sciences Unit (UCIBIO) at FCT-NOVA (Coordinator Professor Maria João Romão) and aims to develop scientific and technological competences in the Health and Bioeconomy sectors.

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Monitoring Intracellular Calcium in Response to GPCR Activation Using Microfluidic Assays

Monitoring Intracellular Calcium in Response to GPCR Activation Using Microfluidic Assays | iBB | Scoop.it

Microfluidic strategies combined with transduction and electronic integration have the promise of enabling miniaturized, combinatorial assays at higher speeds and lower costs, while at the same time mimicking the local chemical concentrations and force fields of the cellular in vivo environment. In A chapter just published in the book "G Protein-Coupled Receptor Screening Assays: Methods and Protocols", researchers from BERG-iBB and INESC-MN introduce a microfluidic structure with hydrodynamic cell traps and a culture volume in the nanoliter range (50 nL), to quantitatively evaluate the transient calcium response of the endogenous Muscarinic type 1 receptor (M1) in HEK 293 T cells. The microfluidic fabrication protocol is described as well as a methodology to monitor the cell response in real time, after stimulation with M1 agonists (e.g., carbachol) and antagonists (e.g., Pirenzepin).

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BERG Research Presented at SBCN 2021

BERG Research Presented at SBCN 2021 | iBB | Scoop.it

The 15th international symposium on Biochromatography and Nanoseparations, which is taking place from 17-20th May in virtual mode, aims to highlight the recent progress on the purification and characterization of biomolecules from lab to industrial scale. BERG-IBB researchers will be presenting their work with oral (Ana Azevedo, Ana Rita Santos, Amin Javidanbardan and Malik Wahab) and poster (Jorge João) communications.

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Luís Martins to Defend PhD Thesis in Biotechnology and Biosciences

Luís Martins to Defend PhD Thesis in Biotechnology and Biosciences | iBB | Scoop.it

Luís Miguel Candeias Martins will be defending his PhD thesis in Biotechnology and Biosciences at Instituto Superior Técnico, Tuesday the 18th of May 2021, at 14:00 (https://videoconf-colibri.zoom.us/j/82200706553). During the last years, and under the supervision of Prof. Isabel Sá-Correia from BSRG-iBB, Luís studied the genetic tolerance determinants for multiple stresses in S. cerevisiae and the potential of oleaginous red yeasts for the efficient carbon substrates conversion present in pectin-rich hydrolysates. The title of his thesis is “Valorisation of pectin-rich agro-industrial residues by yeasts: Potential and Challenges”.

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Modeling Rett Syndrome with Human Pluripotent Stem Cells: Mechanistic Outcomes and Future Clinical Perspectives

Modeling Rett Syndrome with Human Pluripotent Stem Cells: Mechanistic Outcomes and Future Clinical Perspectives | iBB | Scoop.it

Rett syndrome (RTT) is a rare neurodevelopmental disorder caused by mutations in the gene encoding for the MeCP2 protein. Among different roles, MeCP2 has a high phenotypic impact during the different stages of brain development. Thus, it is essential to investigate the function of MeCP2 and its regulated targets. In a review paper published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, a team of researchers at SCERG-iBB provides a brief summary of the main neurological features of RTT and of the impact of MeCP2 mutations in the neuropathophysiology of the disease. A thorough revision of recent advances and future prospects of RTT modeling using human neural cells derived from pluripotent stem cells and its contribution for the current and future clinical trials for RTT is also provided.

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Transcriptomic Profiling of Human Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Cerebellar Organoids

Transcriptomic Profiling of Human Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Cerebellar Organoids | iBB | Scoop.it

 

Endogenous human brain tissue is not easily available for studying neurodevelopment and neurodegenerative diseases. However, human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) have been used to generate a variety of glial and neuronal cells of the central nervous system. Still, reproducible protocols for generating in vitro models of the human cerebellum are scarce. In this context, Silva et al. describe the scalable production of human PSC-derived cerebellar organoids using single-use vertical-wheel bioreactors. The transcriptomic profile of cerebellar organoids derived under dynamic conditions demonstrates a faster cerebellar differentiation combined with significant enrichment of extracellular matrix and upregulation of transcripts involved in angiogenesis when compared with the static protocol. The authors anticipate that large-scale production of cerebellar organoids may help developing models for drug screening, toxicological tests and studying pathological pathways involved in cerebellar degeneration.

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iBB Researcher Tina Keller-Costa Delivers Talk at the International Coral Reef Symposium

iBB Researcher Tina Keller-Costa Delivers Talk at the International Coral Reef Symposium | iBB | Scoop.it

In her talk at the 14th International Coral Reef Symposium, taking place online from 19-23 July 2021, Tina Keller-Costa presented her latest comparative metagenomics study on the functional features of the microbiomes of healthy and diseased octocoral tissue.  This conference, granted every 4 years by the International Coral Reef Society (ICRS), brings together 1300 scientists from 80 countries to discuss coral reef science, management, and conservation policies. The symposium is a key event to develop science-based solutions addressing the present and future challenges of coral reefs, which are globally exposed to unprecedented anthropogenic pressures.

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Xylonic Acid Production from Xylose by Paraburkholderia sacchari

Xylonic Acid Production from Xylose by Paraburkholderia sacchari | iBB | Scoop.it

Paraburkholderia sacchari has the capacity to produce xylonic acid and xylitol, compounds ranked in the top 30 high-value chemicals from biomass. In a recent paper in Biochemical Engineering Journal, Maryna Bondar, Manuela Fonseca and Teresa Cesário from BERG-iBB reveal the outstanding ability of this bacterium to metabolize D-xylose to xylonic acid. D-xylonic acid is a five-carbon sugar acid that can replace gluconic acid in several applications. The biotechnological production of D-xylonic acid is advantageous over gluconic acid because it uses xylose as carbon source. Xylose is a very abundant sugar in nature and only few native bacterial strains can metabolize it. Fed-batch cultivations in a single bioreactor attained xylonic acid titers of 390 g L-1 and a productivity of 7.7 g L-1 h-1. This simplified process can significantly affect process economics, potentiating its translation to an industrial scale.

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Marta Mota Receives Outstanding Student Poster Award in the World Microbe Forum

Marta Mota Receives Outstanding Student Poster Award in the World Microbe Forum | iBB | Scoop.it

In the interactive poster (iPoster) presented by Marta Mota  to the international conference World Microbe Forum (online conference, 20-24 June 2021), a joint initiative by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) and Federation of European Microbiological Sciences (FEMS), the candidate genes and the regulatory networks involved in overcoming methanol toxicity in the model yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae were reported. These results provide useful information to guide the genome engineering of methylotrophic yeast species, and other yeasts copying with methanol toxicity in industrial bioprocesses. This work was performed at BSRG-iBB by the PhD student of the PhD programme in Biotechnology and Biosciences Marta Mota (FCT_DP AEM fellowship) under Prof. Isabel Sá-Correia’s supervision and with the collaboration of Luís Martins, a former PhD student of the program. This iPoster was selected by ASM and by FEMS for the Outstanding Student Award.

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Insights into the Cultured Bacterial Fraction of Corals

Insights into the Cultured Bacterial Fraction of Corals | iBB | Scoop.it

Bacteria associated with coral hosts are diverse and abundant, with recent studies suggesting involvement of these symbionts in host resilience to anthropogenic stress. Combining published and unpublished data, a new article featuring iBB researchers Tina Keller-Costa and Rodrigo Costa among the authors provides a comprehensive overview of the diversity and function of culturable bacteria isolated from tropical, temperate, and cold-water corals. The study, published in the journal mSystems, compiles a total of 3,055 coral-associated isolates described in 52 reports from various laboratories around the world. The work presents a comparative genomic analysis of 74 strains and identifies signatures of potentially beneficial bacterium-coral symbioses among them. Such a resource is an important step in the selection of probiotic candidates, which are being investigated for promoting coral resilience and can potentially be applied in novel reef restoration and rehabilitation efforts. This genome and culture collection is available to the wider research community through the web site http://isolates.reefgenomics.org/ with the hope that many scientists across the globe will ask for access to these resources for future studies.

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Nuno Melo Participates in World Microbe Forum

Nuno Melo Participates in World Microbe Forum | iBB | Scoop.it

We owe a great debt to yeasts for their contributions to humankind. In the Food Industry alone, yeasts play a central role in breadmaking, winemaking, brewing, and more. The fact that yeasts present such spectacular diversity constitutes an opportunity to use different, unused yeasts to obtain fermented goods with distinct properties and organoleptic profiles. In his interactive poster submission to the international conference World Microbe Forum, a joint initiative by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) and Federation of European Microbiological Sciences (FEMS) taking place online from 20-24 June 2021, Nuno Bourbon-Melo talks about the role of non-conventional yeasts seldom used in brewing, specifically Hanseniaspora opuntiae and H. guilliermondii, to improve the aroma and flavour of beer. Learn more about it by clicking here. The work was performed at iBB – Institute for Bioengineering and Biosciences, Instituto Superior Técnico, ULisboa, and advised by Prof. Isabel Sá-Correia and Dr. Margarida Palma.

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Participation in the EU Project FuturEnzyme

Participation in the EU Project FuturEnzyme | iBB | Scoop.it

A team of researchers from iBB-BERG, including Carlos Rodrigues, Ricardo Pereira, Pedro Fernandes, Prof. Joaquim Sampaio Cabral and led by Carla de Carvalho, will contribute to the development of enzymes for a new generation of environmentally friendly consumer products in the EU project FuturEnzyme. The consortium of 16 leading academic and industrial partners, led by Dr. Manuel Ferrer from CSIC (Spain), will develop innovative solutions that will combine big biodata mining and bio-prospecting, disruptive machine learning and protein engineering, nano-biotechnology, fermentation and downstream-processing systems, and pre-industrial testing. Innovative solutions will be proposed to discover, design, optimize and formulate new enzymes to develop detergents, textiles and cosmetics that combine a high level of functionality with improved sustainability, thus responding to the demands from consumers and industries.

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Functionalization of Cellulose Hydrogels with Carbohydrate-Binding Module Fusions

Functionalization of Cellulose Hydrogels with Carbohydrate-Binding Module Fusions | iBB | Scoop.it

Materials with novel and enhanced functionalities can be obtained by modifying cellulose with a range of biomolecules. In a recent paper published in Materials, Mariana Barbosa, Hélvio Simões and Miguel Prazeres from BERG-iBB describe the modification of cellulose hydrogels using bi-functional biomolecular constructs based on carbohydrate binding modules (CBMs). The binding of CBM fusions, the capture of antibodies and the grafting of oligonucleotides onto hydrogels was successfully demonstrated. The CBM-based platform could contribute significantly to the development of advanced medical diagnostic sensors or specialized biomaterials, among others. The work is funded by project CBM-X.

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Integrated Continuous Biomanufacturing Webinar

Integrated Continuous Biomanufacturing Webinar | iBB | Scoop.it

Global competitive pressures are currently forcing companies to innovate in order to succeed in the future. One of the major challenges is to accelerate process development and reduce manufacturing costs, enhancing flexibility and product quality. A key to address these challenges includes a move into a continuous and integrated bioprocessing. If you want to learn more about integrated continuous biomanufacturing don´t loose the Integrated Continuous Biomanufacturing Webinar (June 9, 2021), which is organized by Engineering Conferences International (ECI). The webinar is co-chaired by Jason Walther (Sanofi), Ana Azevedo (BERG-iBB) and Rohini Deshpande (Amgen), and features Charles L Cooney (MIT), Veena Warikoo (Roche), Veronique Chotteau (KTH) and Neil Soice (Amgen) as speakers. Learn more about this exciting and high-level scientific gathering here!

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GPCR Screening Assays: Methods and Protocols

GPCR Screening Assays: Methods and Protocols | iBB | Scoop.it

The book G Protein-Coupled Receptor Screening Assays: Methods and Protocols, edited by Sofia Martins from INESC-MN and Miguel Prazeres from BERG-iBB, has just been published. This fully updated edition targets not only those assays directly involved in the discovery of GPCR-active compounds but also those involved in cell-based experiments designed to study physiological responses. Whether coming from academia or industry, or being an experienced researcher or a newcomer to the field, the reader will find accessible methods and protocols that cover the latest developments on receptor purification, molecular biology, recombinant engineering, and analytical techniques that enable the real time monitoring of the complex GPCR signaling cascade and identification of potential drug targets. Written for the highly successful Methods in Molecular Biology series, chapters include introductions to their respective topics, lists of the necessary materials and reagents, step-by-step, readily reproducible laboratory protocols, and tips on troubleshooting and avoiding known pitfalls.

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Participation in the EFB2021

Participation in the EFB2021 | iBB | Scoop.it

Carlos JC Rodrigues and Carla CCR de Carvalho (iBB-BERG) presented their work in EFB2021, the major scientific conference organised by the European Federation of Biotechnology. The two studies presented focused on the marine environment as a source of biocatalysts for suitable bioprocesses, and on using microbial heterogeneity to improve bioprocesses. The virtual conference took place during May 10th-14th.

EarpieceHub's comment, June 7, 8:11 AM
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Cláudia Alves to Defend PhD Thesis in Biotechnology and Biosciences

Cláudia Alves to Defend PhD Thesis in Biotechnology and Biosciences | iBB | Scoop.it

Cláudia Patrícia Almeida Alves will be defending her PhD thesis in Biotechnology and Biosciences at Instituto Superior Técnico, Friday the 14th of May 2021, at 14:00 am (https://videoconf-colibri.zoom.us/j/82471896554). During the last years, and under the supervision of Gabriel Monteiro and Miguel Prazeres from iBB, Cláudia engineered Escherichia coli strains for the production of minicircle vectors by resolvase-catalyzed in vivo recombination. The title of her thesis is “Escherichia coli Genome Engineering For Improved Minicircle Production". Yo can check more about Cláudia's work here.

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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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