Thursday, 14 August 2014

UK-India Stem cell manufacturing alliance

The first stage in a three-part, nineteen month, multinational project to explore the control of expression patterns in embryonic stem cells in environmental conditions, has now been completed.

Laboratories from Keele University’s Institute of Science and Technology (ISTM), the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and New Delhi (IIT-ND) are involved in the staff/student exchange project as part of a UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI).

The UKIERI funds activities aimed at establishing educational relationships between the UK and India; producing systemic changes in India and opportunities for professional development across various educational institutions.

ISTM has been involved in establishing a stem cell manufacturing unit for culturing cells and transplantation to patients at the Guy Hilton Research Centre at University Hospital North Staffordshire. This Unit links to the existing facility at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt (RJAH) Orthopaedic Hospital in Oswestry which has treated just under 500 patients and aims to provide cells for clinical trials. The Unit has been approved for establishing some industrially funded trials and is currently developing capacity for manufacturing other cells types such as embryonic stem cells as part of the UK-India initiative alongside our Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) funded Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Regenerative Medicine.

Working together, the laboratories in Keele and IIT-ND have now completed the first stage of their research plan which was to generate a miRNA profile of human embryonic stem cells cultured in hypoxic conditions (2% O2), in comparison to ambient air (21% O2). This work has identified approximately 200 miRNA which are differentially regulated in hESC in an oxygen-dependent manner. Bioinformatic and functional analysis of these miRNA is currently underway and a report is being prepared for publication and international dissemination.

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