Hydrogels For Cell Derivation and Transplantation

The World Health Organization predicts that neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s will outpace cancer as the leading cause of death by 2040. Currently these diseases can only be treated symptomatically, which does not slow or reverse the root cause of the disease. Cell replacement treatments show significant promise as therapeutic treatments rather than palliative intervention. Unfortunately, less than five percent of transplanted cells survive engraftment. Additionally, those cells that do survive often differentiate into undesired cell types, leading to ineffective treatment or, worse still, to unregulated growth and tumorigenesis. UC Berkeley researchers have developed a novel method to deliver therapeutic replacement neural cells to effectively treat neurodegenerative diseases, which not only increases the survival rate of replacement cells, but also serves to narrow their scope of differentiation into the desired cell types. The invention ensures replacement stem cells divide controllably and sustainably throughout treatment. Terri Sale terri.sale@berkeley.edu 510-643-4219

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