Progress in Studying Hep C Powered by Stem Cells
Stem Cells Could Advance Hepatitis Research
Drug Discovery & Development – February 02, 2012
Researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Rockefeller University, and the Medical College of Wisconsin have developed a way to establish a hepatitis infection in liver-like cells from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), enabling scientists to study how genetic differences produce varying responses in patients infected with hepatitis C.
Sangeeta Bhatia, a professor of health sciences, technology and electrical engineering, and computer science at MIT and Charles Rice, a professor of virology at Rockefeller University, reported that they could induce liver cells to grow outside the body by growing them on micropatterned plates that direct their organization. The liver cells can be infected with hepatitis C, but they cannot be used to proactively study the role of genetic variation in viral responses because they come from organs that have been donated for transplantation and represent only a small population.
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