Monthly Archives: March 2016

Archive of posts published in the specified Month

Written on Mar, 30, 2016 by in

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an inflammation-driven disease of the Central Nervous System (CNS). It is characterized by increased mononuclear cell infiltration of the CNS and autoimmune destruction of the myelin sheath of neurons resulting in distinct lesions/scarring and increased neural dysfunction. It is not known what causes this condition but there does seem to be a significant part played by the immune system. Supporting this is how MS mouse models develop lesions similar to those seen in MS patients after immunization with CNS-derived autoantigens or autoreactive T cells, broadly termed “immune theory”. This mouse model of MS is called experimental autoimmune (or allergic) encephalomyelitis (EAE) and it is currently the most commonly used mouse model of MS. “EAE mice” is a very broad term that describes a range of subsets of EAE with different pathologies and aetiologies. Each of these subtypes allows researchers to focus on different stages and subtypes of MS.

While much has been learnt about MS from murine models, there are some issues that researchers need to take into consideration. Here we’ll briefly examine some of the upsides and downsides of murine EAE models of MS as well as factors that make the whole issue very complicated indeed! (more…)

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Written on Mar, 20, 2016 by in

Basement membrane products like Matrigel® and Geltrex™ act as a substrate or physical support for cultured cells helping to create more in vivo-like extracellular matrices. Basement membranes are found ubiquitously in the body. They play a role in a many key cellular functions including proliferation, adhesion, migration, differentiation, and cell polarization as well as various biological processes including development and tissue maintenance. Thus researching the basement membrane gives us insights into disease processes like tumor growth and metastasis.

Here, we’ll compare two models of the basement membrane: Corning Life Sciences’ Matrigel and ThermoFisher Scientific’s Geltrex. We’ll look first at their similarities, followed by their differences. Next, we’ll look at all the formulations each is available in and then conclude with why you might pick one over the other.

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Written on Mar, 11, 2016 by in

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune/inflammatory disease that affects the brain, optic nerves and spinal cord (together called the central nervous system, CNS). It is an incurable, painful disease that affects 2.3 million people worldwide. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis that progresses over time.

Traditionally, treatment for MS has been focused on symptom management through forms of immunosuppression. This is done using a combination of pharmaceutical drugs, plasmapheresis and deep brain stimulation. Here, we explore a cell-based technological solution that is a promising next step in MS treatment: stem cell therapies. First, let’s go over the basics of MS and cell-based treatments.

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