Armored Microcrystal Growth Factors to Enable Breakthroughs in Regenerative Medicine

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Cell Guidance Systems today announces the launch of its flagship PODS™ technology addressing the inherent instability of growth factors, paving the way to insights and possible therapies for a myriad of diseases including Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis and Osteoarthritis.

Poyhedrin crystals imaged with a scanning electron microscope

Poyhedrin crystals imaged with a scanning electron microscope

PODS™ overcomes limitations of growth factors in a very elegant way

Growth factors are fragile molecules which degrade rapidly, resulting in loss of function. PODS™ (POlyhedrin Delivery System) packages growth factor proteins into microcrystals which are able to lock-in the biological activity. The PODS™ microcrystals are very stable, but when exposed to proteases (a type of protein made by cells that chop up other proteins), PODS™ slowly break down and release their growth factor cargo. This unique process is able to provide a constant flow of growth factors over weeks and months from a single application. The microcrystal format also means that PODS™ growth factors can be attached to specific locations on surfaces producing localized effects that are required for the orchestration of tissue and organ development.

PODS™ technology was originally developed in the lab of Prof Hajime Mori at the Kyoto Institute of Technology in Japan. It is based on research into the polyhedrin protein which viruses of insects use to protect themselves whilst in the open environment outside their host. PODS™ technology is a clever engineering of this system to replace the virus with any desired cargo protein.

Dr Christian Pernstich, research director at Cell Guidance Systems, explains “As with drugs, delivery mechanism for growth factors makes all the difference. Standard growth factors are inflexible, sometimes unreliable and lack durability. PODS™ technology overcomes these limitations in a very elegant way. We have already made some of the most technically challenging growth factors, and demonstrated their biological activity, with more in the pipeline. As well as research applications, we are actively exploring the medical potential of this technology for vaccine production and for delivery of therapeutic proteins. We are aiming to regenerate tissues that have been damaged by diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis, Osteoarthritis and Parkinson’s disease. It is a very promising and exciting technology.”

Cell Guidance Systems provides reagents and services to control, manipulate and monitor the cell, both in-vitro and in-vivo. Our technologies enable novel insights for research as well as fresh approaches to treating disease.
Contact info(at)cellgs(dot)com

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Michael Jones
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