The next big thing: it's what you do. The biological research materials you need to discover it? That's what we do! We love seeing how our products are being used in real-life applications and contributing to scientific achievements every day.

 

It's hard to keep up with everything that's going on - we get it! The scientific landscape feels like it's growing and evolving every day.

 

Here is a round-up of some recent journal articles that used our products for - you guessed it - Innovative Research! (See what we did there?) Get inspired for your next big breakthrough!

 

All great discoveries start somewhere... yours starts with us!


 

 

  • USE OF CYCLODEXTRIN AS A NOVEL AGENT IN THE SEC-HPLC MOBILE PHASE TO MITIGATE THE INTERACTIONS OF PROTEINS OR PEPTIDE OR THEIR IMPURITIES WITH THE RESIDUAL SILANOLS OF COMMERCIAL SEC-HPLC COLUMNS WITH IMPROVED SEPARATION AND RESOLUTION
      Product Used: Rat IgG (Fractionated Purified)
     
  • A NOVEL DIAGNOSTIC IN SITU DERIVATIZATION KIT FOR THE SIMULTANEOUS DETERMINATION OF 14 BIOMARKERS OF EXPOSURE TO BENZENE, TOLUENE, ETHYL BENZENE AND XYLENES IN HUMAN URINE BY ISOTOPE DILUTION LIQUID CHROMATOGRAPHY TANDEM MASS SPECTROMETRY AND KIT OPTIMIZATION USING RESPONSE SURFACE METHODOLOGY
      Product Used: Pooled Normal Human Urine
     
  • HYDROLYTICALLY DEGRADABLE PEGYLATED POLYELECTROLYTE NANOCOMPLEXES FOR PROTEIN DELIVERY
      Product Used: Porcine Red Blood Cells, Packed 10%
     
  • URINARY PLASMIN(OGEN) AS A PROGNOSTIC FACTOR FOR HYPERTENSION
      Product Used: Human Plasminogen Total ELISA Kit
     

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Innovative Research was established in 1998 after the realization that dependable, high-quality, and affordable research materials were hard to come by. Starting with core products like human plasma and serum, Innovative Research has grown to be a trusted supplier of all lab reagents, including human biologicals and ELISA kits. Today, we manufacture and supply over 3,000 high-quality human and animal biologicals including plasma, serum, tissues, and proteins.

Discover the Innovative Advantage for Yourself!

It's never been easier to get started! If you have questions about our products, we have scientists on staff so that we can get you the information you need, quickly and easily. Prefer email? No problem! Is phone easier for you? Give us a ring at 248-896-0145! We are easy to get in touch with, and can often get you immediate answers to even the most technical questions. We're here to make your job easier, and we're good at what we do.

Ordering Made Easy!

It's never been easier to source the high-quality biological research materials you depend on. Take advantage of our secure, online ordering through our website, email a purchase order to our Sales team, fax your order to us, call us at 248-896-0145 - whatever method is the easiest to fit into your internal ordering process will work for us. Get in touch with our team today!

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One of the most deadly and difficult-to-treat cancers, pancreatic cancer often results in tumors that are either filled with T-cells (making them "hot"), or containing few T-cells (making them "cold"). This variance can impact the effectiveness of immunotherapy, and researchers are looking at ways to control a pancreatic tumor's "temperature" to increase the cancer's responsiveness to immunotherapy.

Pancreatic cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer death and is notoriously hard to treat. One of the reasons that treatment is so difficult is that pancreatic tumors can vary in heterogeneity, running "hot" (meaning they are filled with T cells) or "cold" (containing fewer T cells, making them less sensitive to immunotherapy). New research looks at how pancreatic tumors become hot or cold, and whether the tumor's "temperature" can be controlled to make immunotherapy more effective.

The research team experimented with a range of pancreatic cancer cell clones, implanting them into immunocompetent mice. The scientists found that tumor-cell-intrinsic factors not only shape the immune microenvironment in the tumor, but also impact the outcome of immunotherapy treatments.

The team implanted different pancreatic cancer cell lines into mice, growing tumors that became either hot or cold. The tumor's temperature (T cell concentration), the researchers found, played a role in whether the cancer would respond to immunotherapy.

The mice were treated with a checkpoint blockade drug, or a checkpoint blockade drug along with either an anti-DC40 agonist, chemotherapy, or both. The mice with hot tumors who underwent treatment saw tumor regressions, and the mice with hot tumors who were treated with chemo- and immunotherapy saw a durable response to the treatment. The mice with cold tumors, however, did not clear their cancer with any of the therapies.

Once they had determined that tumor temperature was tied to treatment success, the team wanted to look closely at the cold tumors to determine whether there was a molecular basis for these results. The cold tumor cells, they found, made a compound called CXCL1.

CXCL1 signals myeloid cells to enter the tumor, while simultaneously signaling T cells to stay away. The researchers found that this response is what kept the tumor cold, and therefore unresponsive to immunotherapy.

When the scientists targeted the CXCL1 in the cold tumors, they found that eliminating the tumor's CXCL1 would promote T cell infiltration. Once this happened, the tumors became responsive to immunotherapy.

Other studies have shown that T cell "attraction" in a tumor is regulated by the tumor's genetic makeup. Every tumor is unique, so future research is expected to look at finding ways to use a tumor's biological makeup to help increase the success of treatment.

Further Reading & References:

GEN: Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News. Pancreatic Tumors Run Hot, Cold Depending on Tumor-Cell-Intrinsic Factors. June 29 2018.


Innovative Research was established in 1998 after the realization that dependable, high-quality, and affordable research materials were hard to come by. Starting with core products like human plasma and serum, Innovative Research has grown to be a trusted supplier of all lab reagents, including human biologicals and ELISA kits. Today, we manufacture and supply over 3,000 high-quality human and animal biologicals including plasma, serum, tissues, and proteins.

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The next big thing: it's what you do. The biological research materials you need to discover it? That's what we do! We love seeing how our products are being used in real-life applications and contributing to scientific achievements every day.

 

It's hard to keep up with everything that's going on - we get it! The scientific landscape feels like it's growing and evolving every day.

 

Here is a round-up of some recent journal articles that used our products for - you guessed it - Innovative Research! (See what we did there?) Get inspired for your next big breakthrough!

 

All great discoveries start somewhere... yours starts with us!


 

 

  • ALISKIREN REDUCES THE RELEASE OF SOLUBLE (PRO)RENIN RECEPTOR FROM HUMAN UMBILICAL VEIN ENDOTHELIAL CELLS
      Product Used: Human Prorenin ELISA Kit for Non Plasma Samples
     
  • THE ROLE OF MACROPHAGES IN THE SEQUESTRATION OF DRUG AND FORMATION OF INSOLUBLE DRUG AGGREGATES
      Product Used: Mouse Albumin ELISA Kit
     
  • QUANTITATIVE ASSESSMENT OF NANOPARTICLE BIODISTRIBUTION BY FLUORESCENCE IMAGING, REVISITED
      Product Used: Balb C Mouse Serum
     
  • A SENSITIVE LIQUID CHROMATOGRAPHY-TANDEM MASS SPECTROMETRY METHOD FOR THE QUANTIFICATION OF VALACYCLOVIR AND ITS METABOLITE ACYCLOVIR IN MOUSE AND HUMAN PLASMA
      Product Used: Normal Single Donor Human Serum
     
  • THE INHIBITION, REACTIVATION AND MECHANISM OF VX-, SARIN-, FLUORO-VX AND FLUORO-SARIN SURROGATES FOLLOWING THEIR INTERACTION WITH HUACHE AND HUBUCHE
      Product Used: Sprague Dawley Rat Serum
     

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Innovative Research was established in 1998 after the realization that dependable, high-quality, and affordable research materials were hard to come by. Starting with core products like human plasma and serum, Innovative Research has grown to be a trusted supplier of all lab reagents, including human biologicals and ELISA kits. Today, we manufacture and supply over 3,000 high-quality human and animal biologicals including plasma, serum, tissues, and proteins.

Discover the Innovative Advantage for Yourself!

It's never been easier to get started! If you have questions about our products, we have scientists on staff so that we can get you the information you need, quickly and easily. Prefer email? No problem! Is phone easier for you? Give us a ring at 248-896-0145! We are easy to get in touch with, and can often get you immediate answers to even the most technical questions. We're here to make your job easier, and we're good at what we do.

Ordering Made Easy!

It's never been easier to source the high-quality biological research materials you depend on. Take advantage of our secure, online ordering through our website, email a purchase order to our Sales team, fax your order to us, call us at 248-896-0145 - whatever method is the easiest to fit into your internal ordering process will work for us. Get in touch with our team today!

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Did you know? This study used the Human Prorenin ELISA Kit for Non-Plasma Samples from Innovative Research. (We also offer a Human Prorenin ELISA Kit for Plasma & Serum Samples.) We love seeing how our products are being used in real-life applications and contributing to scientific achievements!

(Pro)renin receptor is thought to play a role in a wide range of biological processes, and recent studies have reported that (Pro)renin may have a function in pathophysiological conditions like retinopathy and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. It is thought that the soluble form of (Pro)renin may be a useful biomarker for disease.

A new study (Aliskiren reduces the release of soluble (pro)renin receptor from human umbilical vein endothelial cells: Biomedical Reports) looks at the effect of aliskiren, which is the first orally active direct renin inhibitor, on the protein levels of (Pro)renin.

Aliskiren and Renin Inhibition

Aliskiren is a prescription medication used to treat hypertension. It is an orally-active (nonpeptide) renin inhibitor that works by binding to the active site of human renin and inhibiting its activity. Studies have suggested that aliskiren reduces (Pro)renin expression in specific cases (the renal compartments of certain diabetic rats and cultured human aortic smooth muscle cells), but there is not much currently known about how aliskiren could impact the measurable concentration of soluble (Pro)renin in bodily fluids.

In Vitro Modeling

In this newest study, the team used cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) as an in vitro model for looking at how aliskiren would affect protein levels of both (Pro)renin and soluble (Pro)renin. In the course of their research, the scientists observed that exogenous prorenin was able to bind to the HUVEC membranes, and that this generated renin activity with full-length (Pro)renin expressed on the HUVEC cell surface.

When treated with aliskiren, the HUVECs showed decreased renin activity, confirming previous research indicating reduced cell-surface expression of full-length (Pro)renin with aliskiren treatment. The scientists note that an observed plateau in the level of per-cell renin activity could mean that there is a given level of full-length Pro(renin) on the cell membrane. The team also observed a reduction in the quantity of soluble (Pro)renin as a result of aliskiren treatment, which &mdash to all appearances - seems to be the first report of aliskiren reducing the soluble form of (Pro)renin.

Note: This study used the Human Prorenin ELISA Kit for Non-Plasma Samples from Innovative Research. We also offer a Human Prorenin ELISA Kit for Plasma & Serum.

Using (Pro)renin Levels for Disease Diagnosis

These results suggest that, when using aliskiren to treat hypertension, the protein levels of soluble (Pro)renin could noticeably decline. Because of this, (Pro)renin and soluble (Pro)renin levels alone may not be sufficient for disease-monitoring purposes if aliskiren is also present.

Further research is needed to examine the effect of aliskiren on soluble (Pro)renin levels. It seems as though the quantity of soluble (Pro)renin depends on the extent that (Pro)renin is being produced and/or processed by the HUVECs used in this study, and additional clinical investigations could provide insight into the underlying mechanisms to clarify how aliskiren changes the quantity of soluble (Pro)renin. In the meantime, using soluble (Pro)renin as a potential disease biomarker may not be as effective during anti-hypertensive treatment with aliskiren.

Further Reading & References:

Yamashita, S., Biswas, K.B., Nabi, A.N., Nakagawa, T., Suzuki, F., & Ebihara, A. (1899). Aliskiren reduces the release of soluble (pro)renin receptor from human umbilical vein endothelial cells. Biomedical Reports, 0, 0-0. https://doi.org/10.3892/br.2018.1124


Innovative Research was established in 1998 after the realization that dependable, high-quality, and affordable research materials were hard to come by. Starting with core products like human plasma and serum, Innovative Research has grown to be a trusted supplier of all lab reagents, including human biologicals and ELISA kits. Today, we manufacture and supply over 3,000 high-quality human and animal biologicals including plasma, serum, tissues, and proteins.

Interested in Prorenin and Renin Research?

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Did you know? For this study, Single Donor Human Plasma was obtained commercially from Innovative Research Inc. We love seeing how our products are being used in real-life applications and contributing to scientific achievements!

Pharmacokinetic (PK) studies can be challenging at times, especially when performed on mice where biological sample volumes are limited by things like the size of the animal. New research, recently published in the Journal of Chromatography B, looks at finding a way to create a highly-sensitive assay to measure the prodrug valacyclovir (VACV) as well as its metabolite, acyclovir (ACV) in both mouse and human plasma samples of limited volume.

Working with Limited Volumes

When it comes to drug discovery and development, pre-clinical pharmacokinetic studies use mouse models most frequently (among animal models). Because a mouse is physically small with a limited volume of biological fluid available, many studies will use composite blood sampling. With this method, a data point is collected from multiple mice, which allows for a sufficient aggregate volume to be collected but can sometimes create complications (like inter-animal variabilities), and requires more animal and material usage in general.

Developing a Highly-Sensitive Assay

To overcome these challenges, the researchers wanted to create a highly-sensitive assay for the target compound that would require a much smaller sample. Not only would this allow for a PK profile from one unique mouse, but would also allow the same strategy to be applied to other studies where the available volume of a blood sample may be limited.

Prior to this study, existing LC-MS/MS methods to quantify VACV and ACV in plasma needed a rather large sample volume (in one such study, the sample volume measured 250ul).

Smaller Sample Volumes Confirmed

The researchers were able to develop and validate a method by which they were able to accurately analyze VACV and ACV in small volumes of mouse plasma, requiring a plasma sample size of only 10ul. This method was applicable to a mouse PK study, and would also make a promising method for human PK studies - especially in circumstances where the sample volume may be a limiting factor - for example, in pediatrics and/or neonatal applications.

Further Reading & References:

A sensitive liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method for the quantification of valacyclovir and its metabolite acyclovir in mouse and human plasma. Jian Shi, Yongjun Hu, David E. Smith, Hao-Jie Zhu. Journal of Chromatogrpahy B (2018). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jchromb.2018.06.040


Innovative Research was established in 1998 after the realization that dependable, high-quality, and affordable research materials were hard to come by. Starting with core products like human plasma and serum, Innovative Research has grown to be a trusted supplier of all lab reagents, including human biologicals and ELISA kits. Today, we manufacture and supply over 3,000 high-quality human and animal biologicals including plasma, serum, tissues, and proteins.

Interested in Plasma-Related Research?

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The next big thing: it's what you do. The biological research materials you need to discover it? That's what we do! We love seeing how our products are being used in real-life applications and contributing to scientific achievements every day.

 

It's hard to keep up with everything that's going on - we get it! The scientific landscape feels like it's growing and evolving every day.

 

Here is a round-up of some recent journal articles that used our products for - you guessed it - Innovative Research! (See what we did there?) Get inspired for your next big breakthrough!

 

All great discoveries start somewhere... yours starts with us!


 

 

Check out all of our recent product references >>



Innovative Research was established in 1998 after the realization that dependable, high-quality, and affordable research materials were hard to come by. Starting with core products like human plasma and serum, Innovative Research has grown to be a trusted supplier of all lab reagents, including human biologicals and ELISA kits. Today, we manufacture and supply over 3,000 high-quality human and animal biologicals including plasma, serum, tissues, and proteins.

Discover the Innovative Advantage for Yourself!

It's never been easier to get started! If you have questions about our products, we have scientists on staff so that we can get you the information you need, quickly and easily. Prefer email? No problem! Is phone easier for you? Give us a ring at 248-896-0145! We are easy to get in touch with, and can often get you immediate answers to even the most technical questions. We're here to make your job easier, and we're good at what we do.

Ordering Made Easy!

It's never been easier to source the high-quality biological research materials you depend on. Take advantage of our secure, online ordering through our website, email a purchase order to our Sales team, fax your order to us, call us at 248-896-0145 - whatever method is the easiest to fit into your internal ordering process will work for us. Get in touch with our team today!

Continue Reading

Did you know? For this study, Single Donor Human Whole Blood was obtained commercially from Innovative Research Inc. We love seeing how our products are being used in real-life applications and contributing to scientific achievements!

New research published in AAPS PharmSciTech looks at creating a nanodelivery system containing a mucoadhesive polymer hyaluronic acid for oral delivery, using Metformin as the model drug.

Diabetes & Metformin

The instances of diabetes diagnoses are on the rise around the world, with an estimated 422M adults affected by the disease in 2014 (up from 180M in 1980). In the US alone, more than 9% of the population were living with a diabetes diagnosis in 2014, with an estimated 8M people going undiagnosed. Diabetes is a chronic condition resulting from the body's ineffective use of insulin, which creates issues in how the body processes glucose.

Traditionally, diabetes is treated with oral drug therapy - and if this method is ineffective by itself, the condition may require insulin therapy. One of the common first treatments tried is metformin, which works on liver, muscle, and adipose tissues to lower glucose levels (but this medication does not stimulate insulin secretion - so it requires insulin for its action, acting as an anti-hyperglycemic agent).

Enhancing Absorption Across the Intestinal Membrane

Metformin's oral bioavailability is limited. Although it has a high solubility, it has poor intestinal absorption. The scientists wanted to develop an oral formulation of metformin, with the goal of enhancing its absorption rate across the intestinal membrane which could, in theory, reduce the minimum effective dose and as a result, also potentially reduce the associated side effects of the medication.

For use in this study, Single Donor Human Whole Blood was obtained commercially from Innovative Research Inc.

The researchers dealt with the development and characterization of mucoadhesive hyaluronic acid nanostructures containing metformin for oral delivery. The nanostructures being studied maintained a uniform size distribution and high drug content, remaining stable over the studied period of 2 months, and the researchers found them to be non-toxic at therapeutic concentrations to Caco-2 cells and compatible with RBCs (without causing cell lysis). Future studies will look at sustaining the release of metformin.

Further Reading & References:

Metformin-Loaded Hyaluronic Acid Nanostructure for Oral Delivery. Bhujbal, S. & Dash, A.K. AAPS PharmSciTech (2018). https://doi.org/10.1208/s12249-018-1085-1


Innovative Research was established in 1998 after the realization that dependable, high-quality, and affordable research materials were hard to come by. Starting with core products like human plasma and serum, Innovative Research has grown to be a trusted supplier of all lab reagents, including human biologicals and ELISA kits. Today, we manufacture and supply over 3,000 high-quality human and animal biologicals including plasma, serum, tissues, and proteins.

Interested in Diabetes Research?

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The next big thing: it's what you do. The biological research materials you need to discover it? That's what we do! We love seeing how our products are being used in real-life applications and contributing to scientific achievements every day.

 

It's hard to keep up with everything that's going on - we get it! The scientific landscape feels like it's growing and evolving every day.

 

Here is a round-up of some recent journal articles that used our products for - you guessed it - Innovative Research! (See what we did there?) Get inspired for your next big breakthrough!

 

All great discoveries start somewhere... yours starts with us!


 

 

  • EVALUATION OF A SMALL MOLECULE AGONIST OF EPHA2 RECEPTOR TYROSINE KINASE AND COPALIC ACID ANALOGS AS PROSTATE CANCER THERAPEUTICS
      Product Used: Non-Swiss Albino Mouse Plasma
     
  • BIOAVAILABILITY OF WILFORLIDE A IN MICE AND ITS CONCENTRATION DETERMINATION USING AN HPLC-APCI-MS/MS METHOD
      Product Used: Innovative Grade US Origin Mouse Plasma (CD-1)
     
  • IN VITRO ESTROGENIC AND BREAST CANCER INHIBITORY ACTIVITIES OF CHEMICAL CONSTITUENTS ISOLATED FROM RHEUM UNDULATUM L.
      Product Used: Charcoal Dextran Stripped Human Serum
     
  • SIMULTANEOUS DETERMINATION OF DIHYDROTESTOSTERONE AND ITS METABOLITES IN MOUSE SERA BY LC-MS/MS WITH CHEMICAL DERIVATIZATION
      Product Used: Mouse Serum
     
  • ANTIOXIDANT CAPACITY OF RIGENASE, A SPECIFIC AQUEOUS EXTRACT OF TRITICUM VULGARE
      Product Used: Sheep Red Blood Cells (RBCs), Packed 100%
     
  • ANALYSIS OF NEW GROWTH PROMOTING BLACK MARKET PRODUCTS
      Product Used: Human Serum
     
  • NICOTINE‐MEDIATED NEUROPROTECTION OF RAT SPINAL NETWORKS AGAINST EXCITOTOXICITY
      Product Used: Innovative Grade US Origin Chicken Plasma
     
  • ANALYSIS OF LIPID ADSORPTION ON NANOPARTICLES BY NANOFLOW LIQUID CHROMATOGRAPHY-TANDEM MASS SPECTROMETRY
      Product Used: Human Serum
     
  • A RAPID IMMUNOCHROMATOGRAPHY TEST BASED ON HCP1 IS A POTENTIAL POINT-OF-CARE TEST FOR SEROLOGICAL DIAGNOSIS OF MELIOIDOSIS
      Product Used: Single Donor Human Serum
     

Check out all of our recent product references >>



Innovative Research was established in 1998 after the realization that dependable, high-quality, and affordable research materials were hard to come by. Starting with core products like human plasma and serum, Innovative Research has grown to be a trusted supplier of all lab reagents, including human biologicals and ELISA kits. Today, we manufacture and supply over 3,000 high-quality human and animal biologicals including plasma, serum, tissues, and proteins.

Discover the Innovative Advantage for Yourself!

It's never been easier to get started! If you have questions about our products, we have scientists on staff so that we can get you the information you need, quickly and easily. Prefer email? No problem! Is phone easier for you? Give us a ring at 248-896-0145! We are easy to get in touch with, and can often get you immediate answers to even the most technical questions. We're here to make your job easier, and we're good at what we do.

Ordering Made Easy!

It's never been easier to source the high-quality biological research materials you depend on. Take advantage of our secure, online ordering through our website, email a purchase order to our Sales team, fax your order to us, call us at 248-896-0145 - whatever method is the easiest to fit into your internal ordering process will work for us. Get in touch with our team today!

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Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health have recently published findings from their groundbreaking study that began in 2007, looking at the rate of cancer and disease among flight attendants as compared to the general population.

In general, flight attendants are exposed to a range of job-related risk factors that are known carcinogens, but this tends to be an occupational group for which there is little overall research. The Harvard Flight Attendant Health Study is changing this, with a study that began in 2007 - their latest report looking at the prevalence of cancer diagnoses among flight attendants as compared to the general population has been published in the journal Environmental Health.

High Flyers have Higher Cancer Rates

The research included the voluntary participation of thousands of flight attendants. The participants reported on their schedules, cancer diagnoses, and other lifestyle and illness questions. These responses were then compared to a matched group of people (who did not work in the airline profession) from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).

The researchers found that flight attendants as a group show higher rates of many different types of cancer as compared to the general population. These include breast cancer, melanoma, uterine cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, thyroid cancer, and cervical cancer, as well as non-melanoma skin cancers like basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas.

The difference in cancer rates between flight attendants and the general population were especially notable for breast, melanoma, and non-melanoma cancers, with flight attendants demonstrating a 51% higher rate of breast cancer, 2x higher rate of melanoma, and 4x higher rate of non-melanoma skin cancers when compared to people in other (non-airline) professions.

Potential Risk Factors

There hasn't been a significant amount of research up to now on flight attendants as a group, so there isn't a lot known about their health. In general, flight attendants tend to show more positive, traditionally-healthy benchmarks like lower rates of smoking, obesity, and heart disease. This makes the findings especially concerning, and researchers hope to continue their studies to identify problematic exposures and how to better protect airline professionals.

Flight crews are known to be exposed to the highest annual dose of radiation among US radiation workers (according to the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements). They are also likely to have disrupted sleep schedules due to the crossing of time zones and shift work, which is known to disrupt the circadian wake-sleep cycle - a risk factor that previous studies have lined to higher risk of breast and prostate cancers.

The European Union already regulates both flight attendant schedules and the amount of time pregnant flight attendants spend flying to limit potentially dangerous exposure. More research is needed to confirm how much of the increased risk can be directly tied to work conditions and how to best minimize the adverse exposures and cancers common among cabin crew.

Further Reading & References:

Cancer prevalence among flight attendants compared to the general population. Eileen McNeely, Irina Mordukhovich, Steven Staffa, Samuel Tideman, Sara Gale and Brent Coull. Environmental Health. Published 26 June 2018. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12940-018-0396-8

Flight Attendant Health Study. Harvard School of Public Health. https://www.fahealth.org


Innovative Research was established in 1998 after the realization that dependable, high-quality, and affordable research materials were hard to come by. Starting with core products like human plasma and serum, Innovative Research has grown to be a trusted supplier of all lab reagents, including human biologicals and ELISA kits. Today, we manufacture and supply over 3,000 high-quality human and animal biologicals including plasma, serum, tissues, and proteins.

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Known for its antioxidant properties, the EGCG found in green tea is a popular ingredient in many dietary supplements. New research looks at how this compound is able to potentially dissolve plaque buildup in blood vessels, and the implications of these properties in preventing serious health problems like heart attacks and strokes.

New research suggests that a natural polyphenol commonly found in green tea could help to prevent the occurrence of heart attack and stroke. Known to have antioxidant properties, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is a common ingredient in many supplements. EGCG is now being looked at for its plaque-busting abilities, with a new study suggesting that it can break up and even dissolve potentially dangerous plaques found in blood vessels that can lead to health issues like heart attacks and strokes.

EGCG and AopA-1

Researchers suggest that EGCG may work in tandem with heparin to remodel apolipoprotein A-1 (ApoA-1), a protein that can form the characteristic amyloid deposits, allowing it to more easily dissolve. The polyphenol, in the presence of heparin, bind to the amyloid fibers of ApoA-1, making them into smaller, soluble molecules that move more easily through blood vessels without causing buildup or damage.

From here, the team is looking to find ways to introduce EGCG into the blood stream in new and effective ways that do not require drinking large (and possibly harmful) quantities of green tea.

Health Benefits & Treatment Options

One approach scientists are investigating is to modify the chemical structure of the polyphenol so that it would be more easily absorbed from the digestive system and more resistant to metabolizing. Another is to look at a way to deliver the molecule directly to the plaques themselves, via injection or similar method.

Green tea has long been promoted as having health benefits, and scientists were already aware that EGCG is able to alter the structures of amyloid plaques in the brain - a classic hallmark of Alzheimer's disease. The new research demonstrates that it could also be effective against the types of plaques that lead to other issues, like heart attack and stroke.

More research is needed to create a form of EGCG that is usable as a treatment option. Consumed normally, the compound is quickly broken down by the body - so simply drinking green tea is unlikely to have a significant impact in improving heart health.

Further Reading & References:

Green Tea Compound Dissolves Plaques in Blood Vessels, May Boost Heart Health. GEN: Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News. 04 June 2018.

Epigallocatechin-3-gallate remodels apolipoprotein A-I amyloid fibrils into soluble oligomers in the presence of heparin. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 31 May 2018.


Innovative Research was established in 1998 after the realization that dependable, high-quality, and affordable research materials were hard to come by. Starting with core products like human plasma and serum, Innovative Research has grown to be a trusted supplier of all lab reagents, including human biologicals and ELISA kits. Today, we manufacture and supply over 3,000 high-quality human and animal biologicals including plasma, serum, tissues, and proteins.

Interested in Apolipoprotein a1 and Heart Research?

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New research shows a new method for overcoming drug-resistance in cancer cells. Cells with acquired (de novo) resistance to kinase inhibitors characteristically show increased numbers of and/or longer cilia. Blocking cilia growth, the study illustrates, resensitizes the cells to anticancer drugs.

Scientists in the UK have shown that targeting the cilia of cancer cells could be a universal way to make resistant cancer cells sensitive to anticancer drugs. The recent study looks at the characteristics of resistant cancer cells, noting that cells with either acquired or de novo resistance to traditional kinase inhibitors have either increased quantities of and/or notably longer cilia. By blocking cilia growth or signaling, the cancer cells become receptive to anticancer drugs. On the flip side, increasing the length of cilia made previously drug-receptive cells become resistant to kinase inhibitors. Researchers hope that targeting cilia could be a way to universally strip cancer cells of their innate defenses, making treatments more effective.

Cilia and Drug Resistance

Many anticancer drugs inhibit proteins like epidermal growth factor receptor, platelet-derived growth factor receptor, and KRAS. While treatment with kinase inhibitors (like erlotinib) can be effective for some tumor types, it seems as though drug resistance eventually emerges.

With the link association between oncogenic proteins and cilia, the researchers wanted to discover whether changes in ciliogenesis could play a permissive role of sorts in the development of drug resistance, and wanted to test whether the characteristics of cilia (like number and length) would affect resistance to kinase inhibitors in different cell lines (including lung cancer and sarcoma cells).

Relationship between de novo drug resistance and ciliogenisis confirmed

Initial studies found that drug-resistant cancer cells showed greater numbers of and/or longer length of cilia. Downregulating the protein Kif7 (known to be involved in controlling cilia length) led to developing resistance to dasatinib, an anticancer drug, in cells that were previously sensitive to the drug. Blocking ciliogenesis by knocking down a structural protein or chemically inhibiting the Hedgehog pathway resensitized cancer cells to kinase inhibitor therapy.

The team was able to confirm an association between de novo drug resistance and ciliogenesis, and demonstrated that using a chemical FGFR inhibitor lead to increased cancer cell death when the cells were then exposed to a kinase inhibitor.

Further research will explore cilia changes in greater detail, with the goal of gaining more understanding of how they impact resistance to cancer drug therapies, and how they could be targeted to increase the effectiveness of treatment.

Further Reading & References:

Targeting Cilia Could Offer Universal Approach to Combat Anticancer Drug Resistance. GEN: Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News. 06 June 2018.

Primary Cilia Mediate Diverse Kinase Inhibitor Resistance Mechanisms in Cancer. Cell Reports: Volume 23, Issue 10, p3042-3055, 5 June 2018.


Innovative Research was established in 1998 after the realization that dependable, high-quality, and affordable research materials were hard to come by. Starting with core products like human plasma and serum, Innovative Research has grown to be a trusted supplier of all lab reagents, including human biologicals and ELISA kits. Today, we manufacture and supply over 3,000 high-quality human and animal biologicals including plasma, serum, tissues, and proteins.

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Scientists have developed a new laboratory technique that allows them to create engineered human pancreatic islets that are vascularized and secrete hormones like insulin. When transplanted into mice, these pancreatic islets develop a circulatory system and successfully treat sudden-onset type 1 diabetes.

Researchers from Japan and the US have created a new method for creating tissue-engineered human pancreatic islets, according to a new study. Not only are they able to grow this tissue in a laboratory setting, but when transplanted into mice, these engineered pancreatic islets develop a mature vascular/circulatory system and are able to secrete insulin. This transplant proved to be a successful treatment for mice with type 1 diabetes, effectively controlling blood sugar levels.

Self-Condensation Cell Culture

The scientists used a new process for bioengineering, which they are calling "self-condensation cell culture." This, researchers hope, brings us a step closer to one day finding a way to grow human organ tissues using an individual's own cells.

To test their processing system, the researchers used a combination of cells. They started with donated human organ cells, mouse organ cells, and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS). They then added two forms of embryonic-stage progenitor cells, the purpose of which are to support the formation of the body and specific organs. In this case, the researchers used mesenchymal stem cells (MSNs) and human umbilical vascular endothelial cells (HUVECs).

Forming Pancreatic Islets

Together, the various biological "ingredients" condensed and formed pancreatic islets. When transplanted into humanized mouse models of type 1 diabetes, these islets appeared to resolve and control the disease.

It is already possible to transplant pancreatic islets into diabetic human patients for treatment, but until this point, the success rate has been relatively low because it has been difficult to develop pancreatic islets that have sufficient blood supply to nourish the transplanted tissue.

Functional, Effective Transplantation

Pancreatic islets engineered in this new way not only develop a mature vascular network after transplantation into animal models, but the transplanted tissue also functions effectively as part of the endocrine system. The transplanted tissue secretes hormones like insulin and stabilizes the animals' glycemic control. This marks the first time the team has been able to engineer tissue fragments from organ cells that are able to vascularize in the body.

This method is hoped to be a promising treatment for type 1 diabetes in humans, a disease that is currently seeing nearly 80k new diagnoses annually. There is currently no cure for type 1 diabetes, and the condition can be life-threatening. Finding a curative or permanent therapy would benefit millions of people worldwide.

Further Reading & References:

Tissue-engineered human pancreatic cells successfully treat diabetic mice. Science Daily. 08 May 2018.

Transplanted Human Islets Grow Blood Vessels and Secrete Insulin to Treat Diabetic Mice. GEN: Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News. 08 May 2018.

Self-Condensation Culture Enables Vascularization of Tissue Fragments for Efficient Therapeutic Transplantation. Cell Reports. doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2018.03.123


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Much research has emerged recently when it comes to understanding and treating breast cancer. From better detection methods to better treatment options, our understanding of the cause, detection, and treatment of breast cancer is rapidly growing.

Approximately one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her life, and one in thirty women will receive a fatal breast cancer diagnosis. Understanding the ways in which breast cancer metastasizes, how to better detect breast cancer in more treatable stages, and how to effectively treat the cancer while minimizing side effects is an area of research that is seeing significant progress.

A Protein found in Breast Cancer could be Essential to Metastasis

Investigators at the Montreal Clinical Research Institute and University of Montreal have uncovered an essential protein that, upon deactivation, could prevent aggressive HER2-positive breast cancer from metastasizing. Cancerous tumors develop when cells multiply at an abnormally high rate, clustering in otherwise healthy tissue.

Some of these cancerous cells are especially sneaky - leaving the tumor to move elsewhere in the body, spreading the disease to other healthy tissues and organs. Metastatic cells move throughout the body more easily by detaching from the tumor, entering the bloodstream, and making their way other organs. They are the most difficult cells to destroy, as they are not localized and tend to be more resistant to current treatments.

The researchers demonstrated that the protein AXL influences the occurrence of metastasis in HER2-positive breast cancer. When administering an AXL-inhibiting drug therapy to mice with HER2-positive tumors, metastases were less likely to develop. Further study is needed, but if the studies are successful, this could potentially become a treatment option in breast cancer patients, working as a complement to therapies targeting HER2-positive tumors.

Targeting the Mitochondria of Breast Cancer Cells

A small-molecule drug, called ONC201, is traditionally used to induce transcription of TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) and destroy cancer cells by activating TRAIL death receptors. In breast cancer, however, ONC201 seems to have a different effect.

Independent of TRAIL transcription, investigators report that ONC201 induces cell death via cell stress mechanisms. In human breast cancer lines, researchers found that ONC201 inhibits mitochondrial respiration and induces mitochondrial structural damage. It also reduces the number of mitochondrial DNA copies.

The study also suggests that cancer cells dependent on glycolysis will be resistant to ONC201.

Treating otherwise unresponsive breast cancer with immunotherapy

Modified from adoptive cell transfer (ACT), experimental research uses a high-throughput method to identify mutations in a cancer that are recognized by the immune system. Scientists hope this will lead to the development of a "blueprint" of sorts that can be used for treating many types of cancer.

ACT has been traditionally effective in treating melanoma, which tends to have high levels of acquired mutations. It has been less effective in common epithelial cancers with lower levels of mutations, like breast cancer. Researchers are developing a form of ACT that uses tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) that target mutations to try and shrink tumors in patients with these common epithelial cancers. This process involves growing the selected TILs to large numbers in a laboratory setting, and then infusing them back into the patient (who - in the meantime - has been treated to deplete remaining lymphocytes). This creates a stronger immune response against the tumor.

All cancers have mutations, and the scientific research team hopes that their research will create a "big picture" treatment that is not cancer-type specific. The mutations that cause the cancer could, in fact, become the best targets to treat the cancer.

Using Genetic Testing to Determine Breast Cancer Treatment

A commercially-available 21-gene test could help two of every three women with the most common type of early breast cancer avoid chemotherapy altogether. The new study shows that for women with tumors that are hormone-receptor-positive, HER2-negative, axillary node-negative, and that generate intermediate scores on the 21-gene Oncotype DX recurrence-score assay, hormone therapy is just as effective at preventing disease recurrence as hormone therapy that is coupled with chemotherapy.

While the ongoing trend of prescribing hormone therapy alongside chemotherapy has contributed to the declining rates of mortality for breast cancer, the majority of these patients may be undergoing chemotherapy unnecessarily.

Using the 21-gene assay could identify as many as 85% of women with early breast cancer who could safely skip the immediate chemotherapy, especially women over the age of 50 and with a recurrence score of 25 or lower, and women under the age of 50 with a recurrence score of 15 or lower.

This research is expected to have a big impact on doctors and patients, with the findings greatly expanding the number of patients who are able to safely forego chemotherapy without compromising their outcomes.

Further Reading & References:

Protein in Breast Cancer Found to Be Essential for Metastasis. GEN: Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News. 07 May 2018.

For Breast Cancer, Targeting Mitochondria Could Be Key. GEN: Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News. 09 May 2018.

Breast Cancer Genetic Test May Help Women Forgo Chemotherapy. GEN: Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News. 04 June 2018.

New approach to immunotherapy leads to complete response in breast cancer patient unresponsive to other treatments. Science Daily. 04 June 2018.


Innovative Research was established in 1998 after the realization that dependable, high-quality, and affordable research materials were hard to come by. Starting with core products like human plasma and serum, Innovative Research has grown to be a trusted supplier of all lab reagents, including human biologicals and ELISA kits. Today, we manufacture and supply over 3,000 high-quality human and animal biologicals including plasma, serum, tissues, and proteins.

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In a medical advance that could lead to the development of more effective antimalarial drugs and vaccines, new research uncovers the full genome of Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite that makes malaria so deadly.

Each year, malaria infects some 220 million people across the globe, resulting in the death of about 500,000 people. 9 in 10 people who are killed by malaria are infected with the Plasmodium falciparum parasite. For the first time, a new research technique gives insight into what is essential in the parasite's genetic makeup, which could lead to the development of better treatments and vaccines.

Mutating the Genome

The research team created a technique that mutated most of P. falciparum's thousands of genes, leading to a better understanding of how each gene functions.

They were able to successfully target adenine and thymine (two of the four chemical "building blocks" of DNA), a significant accomplishment since P. falciparum has a high percentage of adenine and thymine, which has proven to be a limiting factor in previous efforts to manipulate its genome.

From Hundreds to Thousands

Until this point, the P. falciparum parasite has remained resistant to many of the modern genetics-modifying methods, and as a result, it has only been possible to identify the function of a few hundred of the more than 6,000 genes. Using the new genetics tool - dubbed "piggyBac mutagenesis" - the researchers were able to characterize the function of nearly all of the parasite's genes.

Advanced Analysis

With some advanced computational analysis, researchers were able to narrow in on the approximately 2,600 genes that are considered the most essential to growth and resistance to existing antimalarial drugs.

Knowing the parasite's vital genes and pathways, the team hopes, will help to guide and speed up the development of more effective drugs and vaccines.

Further Reading & References:

Min Zhang, Chengqi Wang, Thomas D. Otto, Jenna Oberstaller, Xiangyun Liao, Swamy R. Adapa, Kenneth Udenze, Iraad F. Bronner, Deborah Casandra, Matthew Mayho, Jacqueline Brown, Suzanne Li, Justin Swanson, Julian C. Rayner, Rays H. Y. Jiang, John H. Adams. Uncovering the essential genes of the human malaria parasitePlasmodium falciparumby saturation mutagenesis. Science, 2018; 360 (6388): eaap7847 DOI: 10.1126/science.aap7847

University of South Florida (USF Health). "Unlocking the genome of the world's deadliest parasite." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 May 2018. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/05/180503142722.htm.


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A new study shows that researchers were able to successfully treat obesity in patients whose obesity is caused by a genetic defect. The researcher also provides new information about the mechanics of how the brain receives signals of satiety.

A mutation in the leptin receptor (LEPR) gene can cause extreme hunger, beginning in the first months of life. Affected individuals develop extreme obesity during their childhood years, to the extent that increased exercise and reduced caloric intake are insufficient to stabilize body weight. Not only that, but other obesity treatments - like surgical options - fail to benefit these individuals, which serves to highlight the importance of finding a drug-based treatment approach.

Peptides and MC4R

Within the past couple of years, researchers have demonstrated that treatment using a peptide to activate the melanocortin 4 receptor (MC4R) could play a key role in how the body metabolizes energy and regulates body weight.

Leptin - also commonly referred to as the satiety or starvation hormone - normally binds to LEPR, which sets off a series of actions that lead up to the production of melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH). The MSH binds to its receptor (MC4R), sending the body signals indicating satiety/fullness.

For individuals for whom LEPR is defective, this chain of actions is interrupted, which means their body does not recognize when hunger is satisfied.

Activating Signals of Satiety

Researchers used a peptide that binds to MC4R in the brain, finding that this activation triggered the normal signals of fullness. Not only that, but the team was able to record significant weight loss in patients who had the genetic LEPR mutation.

The scientists were able to demonstrate that treatment in this way leads to the activation of a critical signaling pathway, the significance of which has previously been underestimated. Additionally, there were no observed severe side effects (in contract to other preparations with a similar mode of action).

Researchers hope that further research will determine if other patients with dysfunctions affecting the same signaling pathway could also be suitable candidates for this treatment.

Further Reading & References:

Karine Clment, Heike Biebermann, I. Sadaf Farooqi, Lex Van der Ploeg, Barbara Wolters, Christine Poitou, Lia Puder, Fred Fiedorek, Keith Gottesdiener, Gunnar Kleinau, Nicolas Heyder, Patrick Scheerer, Ulrike Blume-Peytavi, Irina Jahnke, Shubh Sharma, Jacek Mokrosinski, Susanna Wiegand, Anne Mller, Katja Wei, Knut Mai, Joachim Spranger, Annette Grters, Oliver Blankenstein, Heiko Krude, Peter Khnen. MC4R agonism promotes durable weight loss in patients with leptin receptor deficiency. Nature Medicine, 2018; DOI: 10.1038/s41591-018-0015-9

Charit - Universittsmedizin Berlin. "Switching off insatiable hunger: A new drug to help young patients with genetic obesity." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 May 2018. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/05/180508131029.htm.


Innovative Research was established in 1998 after the realization that dependable, high-quality, and affordable research materials were hard to come by. Starting with core products like human plasma and serum, Innovative Research has grown to be a trusted supplier of all lab reagents, including human biologicals and ELISA kits. Today, we manufacture and supply over 3,000 high-quality human and animal biologicals including plasma, serum, tissues, and proteins.

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Multiple sclerosis is a serious neurological condition for which there is no known cure. While the causes of the disease remain relatively unknown, we do know that, in individuals with MS, the immune system attacks the protective sheaths around nerve fibers. New research has uncovered how the formation of these myelin sheaths is regulated by protein molecules.

Think of the human brain as a computer in which the individual processors are efficiently connected using high speed cables. The approximately 100 billion nerve cells are the processors, and the nerve fibers (axons covered by myelin sheaths) are the fiber-optic cables. How quickly data can be passed is very dependent on the quality of the myelin sheaths. Damage to these - or to the cells that produce them - leads to serious disorders like MS that, eventually, destroy the nerve cells entirely.

Oligodendrocytes and Nfat Proteins

A team of researchers is looking at how oligodendrocytes regulate the formation of these myelin sheaths, with hope that this understanding will further develop knowledge of neurological disorders like MS. They have successfully identified protein molecules (like Sox10) that regulate the creation and preservation of myelin sheaths, but they wanted to go a step further and try to understand how the proteins interact when myelin is formed.

In the course of their research, they found that other molecules, called Nfat proteins, are necessary for the success of the interaction between the known molecules. The existence of Nfat proteins in oligodendrocytes allows the other required protein molecules to coexist without displacing one another.

Targeting Nfat Proteins

This research is closely linked with other research that aims to target stimulation of Nfat proteins in the hopes of promoting the formation of new myelin sheaths in MS patients. This type of stimulating substance is not yet available, however.

So far, only substances that inhibit the activity of these Nfat proteins have been developed, and are used in medicines like Cyclosporin A and Tacrolimus to keep the immune system in line to prevent organ rejection in transplant patients, for example. It is interesting to note that these patients often suffer from neurological disorders resulting from myelin sheath loss.

The new research suggests that serious side effects of current medications aimed at inhibiting Nfat proteins include myelin sheath loss, resulting in serious neurological conditions, making it absolutely critical that further research is performed as quickly as possible to improve existing medications.

These findings also show just how important Nfat proteins are for myelin formation, which opens up an entirely new approach to finding treatments to neurological disorders like MS that currently have no cure.

Further Reading & References:

Matthias Weider, Laura Julia Starost, Katharina Groll, Melanie Kspert, Elisabeth Sock, Miriam Wedel, Franziska Frb, Christian Schmitt, Tina Baroti, Anna C. Hartwig, Simone Hillgrtner, Sandra Piefke, Tanja Fadler, Marc Ehrlich, Corinna Ehlert, Martin Stehling, Stefanie Albrecht, Ammar Jabali, Hans R. Schler, Jrgen Winkler, Tanja Kuhlmann, Michael Wegner. Nfat/calcineurin signaling promotes oligodendrocyte differentiation and myelination by transcription factor network tuning. Nature Communications, 2018; 9 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-03336-3

University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. "Our vulnerable nervous system: What affects its protective sheaths? Researchers shed light on a complex biochemical mechanism." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 May 2018. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/05/180508081453.htm.


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New research looks at the effectiveness of revolutionary "nanofiber" dressings - which make use of naturally-occurring proteins from plants and animals - to promote healing and regrow tissue.

New wound dressings, recently described in two separate research papers, seem to dramatically accelerate healing and improve tissue regeneration. What's the secret? Nanofiber dressings, which use naturally-occurring proteins found in both plants and animals.

Senior author of the research, Kit Parker - Tarr Family Professor of Bioengineering and Applied Physics at SEAS - served in Afghanistan. Witnessing battle wounds (and the healing process for those wounds) inspired his passion for researching new therapeutics for treating the wounds of war.

Early Developments in Wound Healing

Beginning nearly 50 years ago, scientists discovered that wounds incurred prior to the third trimester left no scars. This opened up a range of research possibilities for regenerative medicine, but the decades in between have proved challenging when it comes to replicating the distinctive characteristics of fetal skin.

Unlike adult skin, fetal skin contains high levels of fibronectin, a protein that promotes cell binding and adhesion. There are two main forms of fibronectin: globular, which is found in blood, and fibrous, which is found in tissue. While fibrous fibronectin seems to be the more promising option for wound healing, research up to now has mainly focused on the globular structure. This is likely due to the fact that globular fibronectin was easier to source, and fibrous fibronectin has been an engineering challenge.

Engineering New Methods

The research team was able to overcome this hurdle, however, by pioneering new methods of nanofiber engineering. By using a platform called Rotary Jet-Spinning (RJS), the scientists were able to use a liquid polymer solution (globular fibronectin dissolved in a solvent) that then gets "spun" in a way that is not dissimilar to a cotton candy machine. The resulting fibers, less than a single micrometer in diameter, can be collected to form a large-scale dressing or bandage.

A dressing made from these fibers integrates into the wound, creating a scaffold of sorts that is able to "recruit" relevant stems cells necessary for regenerating tissues. The bandage is able to assist in healing before it is absorbed by the body.

Early tests showed wounds treated with the fibronectin dressing have nearly normal epidermal thickness and dermal architecture and are even able to regrow hair follicles (which is often referenced as one of the biggest challenges in wound healing). This solution is much more straightforward than other existing treatment options.

Other Treatments and Advantages

Other research is looking at using a soy-based nanofiber produced in a similar way (using RJS to spin ultra-thin soy fibers into dressings). Early experiments are finding increased success in using soy-based nanofibers to aid in healing wounds.

Both types of nanofiber dressings have great advantages in wound-healing, and it's likely that both could find their niche in the market. Soy-based nanofibers are inexpensive, which could make them an excellent option for large-sale use like on burns. Fibronectin dressings could be especially helpful and useful where the prevention of scarring is important, as well.

Further Reading & References:

Christophe O. Chantre, Patrick H. Campbell, Holly M. Golecki, Adrian T. Buganza, Andrew K. Capulli, Leila F. Deravi, Stephanie Dauth, Sean P. Sheehy, Jeffrey A. Paten, Karl Gledhill, Yanne S. Doucet, Hasan E. Abaci, Seungkuk Ahn, Benjamin D. Pope, Jeffrey W. Ruberti, Simon P. Hoerstrup, Angela M. Christiano, Kevin Kit Parker. Production-scale fibronectin nanofibers promote wound closure and tissue repair in a dermal mouse model. Biomaterials, 2018; 166: 96 DOI: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2018.03.006

Seungkuk Ahn, Christophe O. Chantre, Alanna R. Gannon, Johan U. Lind, Patrick H. Campbell, Thomas Grevesse, Blakely B. O'Connor, Kevin Kit Parker. Soy Protein/Cellulose Nanofiber Scaffolds Mimicking Skin Extracellular Matrix for Enhanced Wound Healing. Advanced Healthcare Materials, 2018; 1701175 DOI: 10.1002/adhm.201701175

Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. "Drawing inspiration from plants and animals to restore tissue: Nanofiber dressings heal wounds, promote regeneration." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 March 2018. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180319090743.htm.


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A Happy, Healthy Gut Microbiome

Written by InnovativeResearch on May 17, 2018. Posted in Blog

The gut microbiome is an exciting field of scientific research, as new studies continue to find links between the composition of the gut microbiome and an individual's overall health (and how this potentially ties in with disease). One of the lingering questions has been curiosity about how, exactly, an individual's microbiome is established. New research addresses this point, looking at the mechanisms used by gut bacteria to develop a healthy, thriving microbiome.

The gut is a happy habitat for bacterial growth - it is warm, moist, and offers an abundance of nutrients. The colonies of "good bacteria" that flourish in the gut are vital partners in helping the body perform important tasks like digesting fiber, extracting nutrients, and preventing disease. How is it that mammals are able to maintain such beneficial partnerships with gut bacteria, while the body typically has such a strong immune and/or illness response to pathogenic bacteria? What makes gut bacteria different?

A Closer Look at Bacteriodes fragilis

New research shows how one species of beneficial gut bacteria is able to harness the body's intrinsic immune response as a way to settle happily in the gut. Researchers looked closely at the Bacterioides fragilis microbe. This particular species is commonly found in the large intestines of a variety of mammals, including humans, and has been shown in previous research to prevent certain inflammatory and neurological disorders in mice (like inflammatory bowel disease and multiple sclerosis). Although there are various strains of B. fragilis, it is notable that healthy people tend to form a long-term relationship with only one strain throughout their lives.

The research team first looked at the specific locations where the bacteria took up residence. B. fragilis tends to cluster together within the thick layer of mucus that lines the gut (near the epithelial cells lining the surface of the intestine), which could be a necessary characteristic that allows for a single species to establish a strong presence.

Next, the team looked closer at the mechanisms that allow the bacteria to create their niche within the gut - they found that each B. fragilis bacterium is encased in a thick carbohydrate-based capsule, which may be a driving force in allowing the bacteria to dominate their niche within the gut.

Triggering the Immune System

Capsules like these are typically related to an immune response in pathogenic bacteria, a "trigger" that will often provoke an immune response. Sure enough, the researchers discovered that antibodies were binding to the B. fragilis capsules in the gut - but, unlike the imminent death that usually awaits pathogenic bacteria, immunoglobulin A (IgA) does not negatively impact most of the beneficial gut bacteria. In this particular case, it seems like IgA actually helped B. fragilis attach to epithelial cells.

The researchers believe the body's immune response is actually helpful to the "good bacteria" in the gut microbiome, allowing the bacteria to thrive - which then helps the host to thrive, as well. The research suggests that the immune system seems to function as more than just defense, and that antibodies can be useful in more ways than simply providing the body with a weapon against pathogens. Future research is expected to explore how to improve colonization by beneficial bacteria, an area of research that could lead to better probiotics and finding ways to use the gut microbiome as medicine for treating illness or disease.

Further Reading & References:

California Institute of Technology. "A gut bacterium's guide to building a microbiome: Unlike invading pathogens, which are attacked by the immune system, certain good bacteria in the gut invite an immune response in order to establish robust gut colonization." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 May 2018. ww.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/05/180504133624.htm.

G. P. Donaldson, M. S. Ladinsky, K. B. Yu, J. G. Sanders, B. B. Yoo, W. C. Chou, M. E. Conner, A. M. Earl, R. Knight, P. J. Bjorkman, S. K. Mazmanian. Gut microbiota utilize immunoglobulin A for mucosal colonization. Science, 2018; eaaq0926 DOI: 10.1126/science.aaq0926


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