Extracts of Fat Cells Can Be Used to Built Biological Scaffold

Stem cells are known for their pluripotent nature. It means they have the capacity to develop in more than one of ways. But it is very tough to maintain them in this state where they divide and self renew themselves. A natural biological matrix or scaffold is required where these cells can proliferate without being affected by the surrounding environment. Scientist Deepak Nagrath, The Rice assistant professor in chemical and biomolecular engineering, has discovered that extracts from fat cells in our body can be used to built a natural scaffold for cell growth. The results of the findings are published in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) Journal. This article tries to gain further insight on this finding.

Knowledge Gained from Research:

  • The mechanism involves prompting the fat cells to generate and separate thin layers of tissues which duplicate the natural architecture of tissues used in cell growth.
  • The cells attach themselves initially to this structure and start growing into tissues with desired qualities.
  • When the development is complete, they generate another substance which destroys this scaffold allowing them to get separated.
  • The researcher hopes that this sticky extract called Adipogel can spread over stem cells and then be injected inside the human body to carry out cell repair in future.
  • They can prove handy in making a damaged organ functional. Stem cells secured inside the matrix can work effectively and can bring back the functionality of the organ back to normalcy.
  • Adipogel is a honey-like gel that has the ability to retain cytokines and hormones of the original tissue.
  • Cytokines and Hormones are natural substances which carry signals between cells and help organs to function properly, respectively.
  • Moreover, pharmaceutical companies are always in the look out of matrices which serve as external environments for testing new drugs.
  • A protein called Matrigel, generated and then separated from the cancer cells of experimental mice is used as of now to test new drugs.
  • But because of the inherent threat involved, this technique of drug testing cannot be carried out on humans.
  • Adipogel has been successfully tested on growing hepatocytes which are the primary liver cells used commonly for pharmaceutical testing.
  • The research has been funded by The National Institutes of Health and the Shriners Hospitals for Children.


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