Groundbreaking know-how developed to extract mesenchymal stem cells from pure bone marrow

Researchers from the Vital Analytics for Manufacturing Personalised-Drugs (CAMP) Interdisciplinary Analysis Group (IRG) of Singapore-MIT Alliance for Analysis and Know-how (SMART), MIT’s analysis enterprise in Singapore, in collaboration with the Company for Science, Know-how and Analysis (A*STAR) Bioprocessing Know-how Institute (BTI) and Nationwide College Well being System (NUHS), have developed a groundbreaking know-how able to extracting mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) immediately from pure bone marrow – also referred to as bone marrow aspirate (BMA), a pivotal supply of MSCs – with out dilution.

(L-R) Nicholas Tan, lead writer and analysis engineer at SMART, and Kerwin Kwek, co-author and senior analysis scientist at SMART, co-developed the sorting know-how and its prototype (Picture: SMART CAMP)

Utilizing a world-first steady sorting method on a multi-chip Deterministic Lateral Displacement (DLD) microfluidic platform, the brand new methodology doubles the amount of MSCs obtained from bone marrow samples and shortens the time taken to round 20 minutes. It additionally reduces donor discomfort on account of much less bone marrow being extracted, hastens cell manufacturing, and simplifies cell remedy manufacturing. This development represents a major step towards extra accessible and environment friendly superior medical therapies that use MSCs – together with remedy for osteoarthritis, autoimmune and infectious ailments, and neurological problems.

Cell remedy is a area of medication the place cells are used as dwelling medication to struggle ailments or restore and change broken cells. Advances in regenerative drugs and immunotherapy have benefited numerous sufferers; they provide quite a few new remedy alternate options to beforehand intractable ailments, with a whole lot extra within the developmental pipeline that provides new hope to sufferers. Nonetheless, acquiring high-quality uncooked supplies – on this case, MSCs – has lengthy been a hurdle in cell remedy manufacturing, as conventional isolation strategies akin to centrifugation are inefficient and complicated. Along with an extended processing time of round two to 3 hours, present strategies end in low yield on account of challenges akin to osmotic stress and complicated workflows. State-of-the-art sorting strategies akin to fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) depend on pricey antibodies and complex preparation, posing main limitations for manufacturing of those dwelling medicines.

In a paper titled “Scalable mesenchymal stem cell enrichment from bone marrow aspirate utilizing DLD microfluidic sorting”, lately printed within the journal Lab on a Chip, SMART researchers have pioneered a revolutionary stem cell sorting platform, addressing the challenges of large-scale cell sorting and manufacturing. Utilizing DLD microfluidic know-how, a label-free cell sorting methodology which distinguishes between stem cells and blood cells, the platform processed small bone marrow samples (2.5 mL) in simply 20 minutes with double the stem cell yield in comparison with conventional strategies, and bypasses pricey reagents and complicated processes.

On this methodology pioneered by SMART, human bone marrow samples that arrive on the laboratory bear a easy filtration step to take away undesirable cells and tissues that would hinder the chip. Samples are then loaded onto SMART’s sorting platform, and cells of curiosity (MSCs) are robotically sorted and picked up in outlet reservoirs. These collected cells are then mixed right into a vial for additional processing and quantification as wanted.

This progressive breakthrough in cell sorting makes use of microfluidic applied sciences, leveraging cells’ pure properties and eliminating the need for labelling. With typical strategies, cells are sorted utilizing fluorescent or magnetic tags to label sure mobile options. That is difficult as these labels might intrude with subsequent evaluation and testing, or worse injury the cells. As compared, passive strategies just like the DLD methodology developed at SMART are user-friendly, light on cells and simply built-in into medical pattern processing workflows. MSCs are very delicate to its exterior setting, and perturbations might alter the biology in unanticipated methods. 

“This novel platform offers a contemporary perspective for stem cell sorting by means of a extra environment friendly, label-free and, importantly, seamless course of integration into present industrial manufacturing pipeline. Our analysis staff at SMART is happy in regards to the potentialities this know-how brings to the sphere of stem cell analysis and remedy. The profitable demonstration of this know-how offers us higher confidence to enterprise into different bioprocessing purposes akin to leukopheresis with nice potential for medical impression. This may considerably speed up the event of cutting-edge therapies and enhance accessibility for cell remedy,” mentioned Mr Nicholas Tan, Analysis Engineer at SMART CAMP and lead writer of the paper.

“Regardless that DLD cell sorting has beforehand been demonstrated, what’s new on this work is that we had been in a position to deploy the method at a sufficiently excessive processing move fee to impression real-world stem cell manufacturing workflow. Biomanufacturing and bioprocessing are areas by which I see a lot potential for making use of microfluidics know-how to enhance total effectivity and cut back the fee considerably,” mentioned Professor Jongyoon Han, Co-Lead Principal Investigator at SMART CAMP, Professor of Organic Engineering and Electrical Engineering at MIT and corresponding writer of the paper.

Future efforts will give attention to refining the know-how by evaluating the standard of sorted MSCs from human bone marrow samples utilizing strategies akin to reverse transcription polymerase chain response (RT-PCR) and differentiation assays. Concurrently, CAMP is working in the direction of growing sorting velocity and backbone, whereas refining the system’s design for portability and user-friendliness, and growing throughput to 10 ml per minute.

Our progressive method marks a paradigm shift in cell sorting, a key means of cell remedy. By harnessing microfluidic applied sciences to capitalise on cells’ intrinsic properties, we now have eradicated the necessity for cumbersome and costly labelling strategies. It not solely streamlines the sorting course of but in addition ensures extra correct and dependable leads to medical analysis. This breakthrough, pushed by our dedication to advancing scientific frontiers, heralds a milestone within the realm of mobile research.”

Dr Kerwin Kwek, Analysis Scientist, SMART CAMP

Dr Kerwin Kwek can be co-lead writer of the paper.

The analysis is carried out by SMART and supported by the Nationwide Analysis Basis (NRF) Singapore beneath its Campus for Analysis Excellence And Technological Enterprise (CREATE) programme. Nationwide College Hospital offered the bone marrow pattern, and A*STAR BTI carried out the standard MSC isolation methodology which CAMP’s know-how was benchmarked towards.


Singapore-MIT Alliance for Analysis and Know-how (SMART)

Emily Thompson

Dr. Emily Thompson is a highly respected medical professional and seasoned health journalist, contributing her expertise to our news website. With a medical degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and over 15 years of experience in clinical practice, Dr. Thompson possesses a deep understanding of various health issues.
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