May Newsletter

Join us in our webinar on 3D cell culture to embrace the 3Rs for clinically relevant results

We welcome you to join us on the 27th May when we are hosting a webinar with RegMedNet to discuss recent developments in 3D cell cultures. The webinar will cover all aspects of 3D cell culture, starting from the basics and moving all the way up to clinical translation.

In particular we will focus on synthetic platforms, especially self-assembling peptide hydrogels (PeptiGels®) to recapitulate the in vivo microarchitecture to generate complex 3D models; this will include organoids and bioprinting. We will also look at their potential applications within regenerative medicine and drug discovery, current challenges and future directions.

The increasing use of physiologically relevant 3D cell cultures is rapidly advancing pre-clinical studies, due to their ability to mimic the in vivo environment and produce clinically relevant data. Robust use of 3D cultures makes them compliant with the 3Rs: replacement, reduction and refinement – minimising animal use in research. Whether you are a novice or an expert in the area, or just looking to expand your mind, there is something for everyone. We look forward to seeing you there! For details on how to register please click the button below: REGISTER HERE

Understanding the COVID-19 pathophysiology with PeptiGel® physiologically relevant cultures

COVID-19 infection is increasing globally at an alarming rate and doctors are continuously reporting a range of symptoms in COVID-19 patients. It is widely established that the virus’ host site is the respiratory system, however, there is evidence emerging that suggests other tissues, particularly the kidney and blood vessels, can also host the virus.

Typically, COVID-19 starts infecting ACE2 expressing cells in the nose and throat before progressing to other tissues. Cardiac and kidney cells also harbour ACE2 receptors, which may explain why damage in these organs is also prevalent in patients with severe cases. Considerable work is now underway by labs world-wide to fully understand COVID-19’s pathophysiology as scientists work towards the development of suitable therapies.

In this area, the development of 3-dimensional (3D) model and diseased tissues, such as organoids (additional case study here), and/or reliable 3D ACE2 expressing tissue models are being developed using reliable and clinically relevant scaffolds such as PeptiGels®. Work in this area will contribute to the anticipated rapid development of COVID-19 therapies. If you would like to find out more about how we can help you with this, please get in touch here.

UK Regenerative Medicine CASE PhD Student Progress Meeting – Development of new PeptiGel® application areas

The UK Regenerative Medicine Platform (UKRMP) is a national initiative that is addressing key translational challenges within the area of regenerative medicine. The University of Manchester is home to four students funded through this platform, where each is working with Manchester BIOGEL through our CASE studentship scheme. Their focus is to expand the portfolio of application areas of our peptide hydrogels; PeptiGels® and PeptiInks®.

At our progress meeting held in April the students did a great job presenting their work. In particular Eliana Lingard (supervisor – Dr Andrew Gilmore) discussed her latest results in breast cancer disease modelling and Nischal Rai (supervisor – Prof. Julie Gough) talked about his work developing tissue constructs for oesophagus regeneration. These studies saw the respective tissue specific cells remain viable, display tissue-like morphology with high-resolution images and express specific markers of interest following proteomic characterisation. Albert Ginjaume (supervisor – Prof. Aberto Saiani) showed data that demonstrated an enhanced ability of PeptiInks® to print well-defined 3D cell-laden constructs for regeneration.

We missed Liam McMorrow (supervisor – Dr Adam Reid) but as clinicians, they have both returned to the NHS to support the front line fight against COVID-19. We wish them both well and look forward to them joining a future meeting when they return. The day concluded with a general discussion of the remaining challenges within the in vitro cultures field and how our work is progressing and contributing towards revolutionising the future of healthcare. To find out more about our PhD CASE studentship scheme and collaborations, please get in touch here.

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