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Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Kung J.W.C.,Tissue Injury and Repair Group | Currie I.S.,Tissue Injury and Repair Group | Forbes S.J.,Queens Medical Research Institute | Ross J.A.,Tissue Injury and Repair Group
Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology

The identification of putative liver stem cells has brought closer the previously separate fields of liver development, regeneration, and carcinogenesis. Significant overlaps in the regulation of these processes are now being described. For example, studies in embryonic liver development have already provided the basis for directed differentiation of human embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells into hepatocyte-like cells. As a result, the understanding of the cell biology of proliferation and differentiation in the liver has been improved. This knowledge can be used to improve the function of hepatocyte-like cells for drug testing, bioartificial livers, and transplantation. In parallel, the mechanisms regulating cancer cell biology are now clearer, providing fertile soil for novel therapeutic approaches. Recognition of the relationships between development, regeneration, and carcinogenesis, and the increasing evidence for the role of stem cells in all of these areas, has sparked fresh enthusiasm in understanding the underlying molecular mechanisms and has led to new targeted therapies for liver cirrhosis and primary liver cancers. Copyright © 2010 Janet W. C. Kung et al. Source

Fraylich M.R.,University of Manchester | Liu R.,University of Manchester | Liu R.,Zhengzhou University of Light Industry | Richardson S.M.,Tissue Injury and Repair Group | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Colloid and Interface Science

In this study the properties of poly(d,l-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) dispersions containing a thermoresponsive cationic copolymer were investigated. The PLGA dispersions were prepared by interfacial deposition in aqueous solution and were rendered thermoresponsive by addition of a cationic poly(N-isopropyl acrylamide) (PNIPAm) graft copolymer. The copolymers used had the general composition PDMAx +-g-(PNIPAmn)y. DMA+ is quarternarized N,N-dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate. The PDMAx +-g-(PNIPAmn)y copolymers have x and y values that originate from the macroinitiator used for their preparation; values for n correspond to the PNIPAm arm length. The thermoresponsive dispersions were characterised using photon correlation spectroscopy, turbidity measurements and electrophoretic mobility measurements. A strong electrostatic attraction between the anionic PLGA particles and cationic copolymer was present and the dispersions showed thermally-triggered gelation at total polymer volume fractions as low as 0.015. These new PLGA gels, which formed at about 32 °C, had elastic modulus values that could be controlled using dispersion composition. Scanning electron micrographs of the gels showed high porosity and interconnectivity of elongated pores. Remarkably, the gels were flexible and had critical yield strains as high as 160%. The ability of the gels to support growth of bovine nucleus pulposus cells was investigated using two-dimensional cell culture. The cells proliferated and remained viable on the gels after 3 days. The results suggest that this general family of biodegradable thermogelling PLGA dispersions, introduced here for the first time, may have longer-term application as an injectable colloidal cell delivery system. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Source

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