Day 2 :
University of Arizona, USA
Keynote: Biobanking for regenerative medicine
Time : 09:30-10:15
David T Harris is a graduate of Wake Forest University where he obtained BS in Biology, Mathematics and Psychology. He has earned his Doctorate in Microbiology and Immunology in 1982. In 1989, he has joined the Faculty at the University of Arizona in the Department of Immunology. He has established the first cord blood bank in 1992. He currently serves as the Executive Director of the University of Arizona Biorepository, as well as the Director of Quality at the GMP Laboratory. His research interests include stem cells and regenerative medicine
Regenerative medicine and tissue engineering play significant roles in the treatment of currently intractable conditions such as chronic heart failure, stroke, chronic osteoarthritis, and other maladies. Regenerative medicine and tissue engineering generally depend on the utilization of stem cells to treat patients but may also utilize mature cells that would not normally be considered as stem cells (e.g., skin). Stem cells (like mature cells) may be obtained from many sources in the body including bone marrow, cord blood, cord tissue, adipose tissue, etc. Although stem cells are often used in therapy immediately upon isolation, in many circumstances the stem and progenitor cells will be harvested, processed and banked frozen until a later time. Biobanking is a convenient alternative to same-day therapeutic use, in that it allows for patient recovery (e.g., from liposuction), provides time to identify the best treatment options, and may allow for multiple interventions with additional patient inconvenience or risk. This presentation will address the topic of Biobanking and Regenerative Medicine. Topics to be included are organization of the biobank, types of sample collections and processing, precision medicine and big data, data management, and clinical utilization of banked specimens.
Biology Institute, Front Royal, VA
Nucharin Songsasen is a Research Scientist at Center for Species Survival, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI). She has joined SCBI in 2002, has led the Global Canid Conservation program and expanded this conservation and research initiative from laboratory setting to field conservation in range countries. She has established partnerships with several national and international organizations and currently holds an adjunct appointment at the University of Maryland, Cornell University and George Mason University. She is a Member of the IUCN’s Canid Specialist Group, the Coordinator of Dhole Working Group and the Maned Wolf Species Survival Plan as well as Reproductive Advisor to the Canid Taxon Advisory Group. She has received a DVM degree from the Kasetsart University, Thailand and a PhD in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Guelph, Canada.
Statement of the Problem: Within the ovary, there are thousands of immature follicles containing oocytes that are never ovulated or fertilized. The ability to grow these immature follicles to a mature stage containing fertilizable eggs has enormous potential for rescuing and protecting genetic diversity of valuable genotypes and species, including endangered wildlife. This approach would allow ‘genomic rescue’ and be especially valuable for the genetic management of rare species where there is a prevalence of females who are under-represented in the population or die before reaching puberty. Our laboratory has studied the dog and cat models to generate fundamental data on these two important companion animals, and to produce knowledge and approaches applicable to wildlife counterparts. This is important because 5 of 36 extant canids and 25 of 37 felids are listed as threatened by extinction.
Methodology & Theoretical Orientation: We have studied the factors regulating the survival of ovarian tissue and isolated follicles in vitro. An advantage of simultaneously studying both species is the recognition of remarkable species-specificity in requirements.
Findings: For examples, dog follicles preferred -MEM, an amino acid rich medium to MEM whereas cat tissues better survived and grew larger in the latter medium than the former.
Conclusion & Significance: In sum, it is clear that the mechanisms driving in vitro follicle growth in cats and dogs are much different from the traditionally studied mouse model and even between these two-carnivore species. This finding itself reinforces the need for more comparative studies between species and the investigation of larger sized models, especially for those keen to adapt this technology to fertility preservation in women and endangered species. Although existing culture systems can promote in vitro growth of cat and dog follicles, actual practical application will require creating microenvironment that allows recovering mature-stage, fertilizable oocytes.
Malayan Ophthalmologic Center, Yerevan
ANI HAMBARDZUMYAN is a graduate of Yerevan State Medical University where she obtained Diploma of General Practitioner and Faculty of Internal Medicine . She has earned her PhD on silicagel dried amniotic membrane transplantation in various corneal patologies in 2010. In 1994, he has joined as Ophthalmologists at the Ophthalmologic Center after Malayan, Yerevan, Armenia. Organization and performing of the diagnostics and treatment of patients with various pathologies and diseases of the Eyes. He currently serves as Armenian Eye Bank Director, as well as Member of Armenian Ophthalmological Association.
Aim: The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of silica gel dried amniotic membrane recently invested in Armenia, transplanted in various corneal pathologies.
Design & Methods: Amniotic membrane is obtained from prospective donors undergoing Caesarean section, who are negative for communicable diseases including HIV, hepatitis B and C and syphilis. The placenta is cleaned with balanced salt solution containing a cocktail of antibiotics under sterile conditions. The amnion is separated from the chorion by blunt dissection. The separated membranes are cut in different sizes and placed into the plastic can with silica gel granules on the bottom. This study included nine patients with recalcitrant herpetic keratitis, 17 pt with corneal perforation from different causes, two pt with candida keratitis, one pt with ICC, four pt with descemetocele of different causes, one pt with scleral melt after pterygium surgery, one pt with band keratopathy, three pt with persistent epithelial defect caused by chemical burn, one pt with suture abscess, one pt with persistent epithelial defect resulted from CIN removal surgery, two pt with sterile ulcer observed in rheumatoid arthritis patient, one pt with spheroidal degeneration, one pt with acanthamoeba keratitis and four pt with bacterial keratitis. All patients received medical therapeutic treatment for 1, 5-2 month before undergoing amniotic membrane transplantation.
Results: Almost in all eyes quick recovery time was noted, stromal edema resolved in three weeks, epithelial healing was improved, irritation and pain quickly subsided. Three pt with herpetic keratitis required repeated AM transplantation.
Conclusion: Silica gel dried amniotic membrane is very effective for treatment of various corneal pathologies, dramatically improves the healing process and helps to regain functional vision in most cases.
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, USA
Keynote: Molecular Imaging Biosensors for Precise Therapeutic Interventions in Regenerative Medicine
Time : 12:15-13:00
Dr. Ethel J. Ngen has expertise in targeted drug delivery systems and bioresponsive molecular sensors for applications in regenerative medicine. She is currently a research faculty member at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences. Her research focuses on developing cellular and molecular imaging strategies and drug delivery systems for applications in regenerative medicine and in oncology. A major component of her research focuses on developing molecular imaging biosensors for tracking cell-based therapies. Prior to joining the faculty at Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Ngen received her Ph.D. in organic/medicinal chemistry from the South Dakota State University’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, where her Ph.D. research focused on developing targeted drug delivery systems for applications in oncology. She then pursued post-doctoral training in cellular and molecular imaging, at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences, before joining the faculty.
Precision medicine aims to provide personalized treatment plans tailored to the specific needs of individual patients. With the growing need for more personalized therapeutic regimens in regenerative medicine, we will demonstrate the importance of cellular imaging biosensors to noninvasively visualize, characterize, and quantify the effective delivery, biodistribution, survival, and engraftment of transplanted stem cells in vivo. The applicability of a novel dual-contrast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique to noninvasively image transplanted stem cells will be discussed. This dual-contrast MRI technique involves two different classes of MRI contrast agents, possessing different diffusion coefficients: high-molecular-weight superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs; T2/T2* contrast agents, with low diffusion coefficients) and low-molecular-weight gadolinium chelates (T1 contrast agents, with high diffusion coefficients). Human mesenchymal stem cells were dual labeled with SPIONs and a gadolinium-based chelate (GdDTPA). The viability, proliferation rate, and differentiation potential of the labeled stem cells were then evaluated. The feasibility of this MRI technique to distinguish between live and dead stem cells was next evaluated using MRI phantoms. We next evaluated the efficiency of this technique to image transplanted stem cells in vivo in both immune-competent and immune-deficient mice, following the induction of radiation-induced brain injury in the mice. All MRI results were validated with bioluminescence imaging. In Immune-deficient mice where the transplanted stem cells survived, and both contrast agents were in close proximity, the T2/T2* contrast from the SPIONs predominated and the T1 contrast from the gadolinium chelates was quenched. This T2/T2* MRI contrast was used to track stem cell delivery and stem cell migration. In immune-competent mice where the stem cell died following transplantation, a diffused positive (T1) MRI contrast was generated in the vicinity of the dead cells and served as an imaging marker for cell death (Figure 1). Ultimately, this technique could be used to manage and personalize stem cell therapies in regenerative medicine.