Breaking News
January 17, 2019 - Educational videos in clinical settings increase HPV vaccination rates among adolescents
January 17, 2019 - Better understanding of aggressive brain tumour
January 17, 2019 - Why is life expectancy in the U.S. going down? A Q&A
January 17, 2019 - The Electronics Industry Sees Money In Your Health
January 17, 2019 - Hypertension drug may improve effectiveness of ovarian cancer treatment
January 17, 2019 - Scientists reveal key mechanism in worms that controls cell’s response to stress
January 17, 2019 - How Patch Clamp Technology Can Benefit Ion Channel Research
January 16, 2019 - Researchers cultivate organoids that perfectly mimic blood vessels
January 16, 2019 - Sound Pharmaceuticals Advances Phase 2 Hearing Loss Clinical Trial in Cystic Fibrosis
January 16, 2019 - Unraveling the genetic causes of skin cancer
January 16, 2019 - Higher percentages of saturated fat in low-carb diets may not harm cholesterol levels, new analysis suggests
January 16, 2019 - Using bottled or tap water impacts health benefits of green tea
January 16, 2019 - Best trained alert dogs have potential to improve Type 1 diabetes patients’ quality of life
January 16, 2019 - States with lower incidence of melanoma have higher mortality rates
January 16, 2019 - Pollution on the London Underground found to be dangerously high
January 16, 2019 - Breast cancer cells in mice coaxed to turn into harmless fat cells
January 16, 2019 - Study connects the genetic background of autistic spectrum disorders with stem cell dysfunction
January 16, 2019 - When activated, ‘social’ brain circuits inhibit feeding behavior in mice | News Center
January 16, 2019 - How Exercise May Help Keep Our Memory Sharp
January 16, 2019 - Researchers identify a key regulator that stops excessive inflammation
January 16, 2019 - TGF-beta signaling pathway in uterine cells protects against cancer
January 16, 2019 - MD Anderson Cancer Center collaborates with Dragonfly for new immunotherapy drug clinical trials
January 16, 2019 - Drug Repurposing May Provide More Psychiatric Tx Options
January 16, 2019 - A new brain imaging study challenges the dominant theoretical model of autism spectrum disorders
January 16, 2019 - GoFundMe CEO: ‘Gigantic Gaps’ In Health System Showing Up In Crowdfunding
January 16, 2019 - Induced neuronal cells derived from fibroblasts are similar to neurons in the brain
January 16, 2019 - New study finds link between childhood abuse and suicide in later life
January 16, 2019 - Lifestyle and health factors that are good for the heart can also prevent diabetes
January 16, 2019 - Scientists take another step in understanding bacteria that cause Salmonella epidemic
January 16, 2019 - Look to Your Aunts, Uncles and Parents for Clues to Your Longevity
January 16, 2019 - Study finds ADHD drugs are unlikely to cause cardiac damage in children who take them
January 16, 2019 - Call The Midwife! (If The Doctor Doesn’t Object)
January 16, 2019 - Changes in hippocampal structural connectivity differentiate responders of electroconvulsive therapy
January 16, 2019 - Study sheds light on the deadly venom of Mojave rattlesnakes
January 16, 2019 - University of Nebraska to develop new drugs that prevent and counteract effects of radiation exposure
January 16, 2019 - Sugar-based stent makes precarious sewing process easier
January 16, 2019 - FDA-approved drug hampers cancer metastasis in animal model, shows study
January 16, 2019 - Low-level cannabis use can change the adolescent brain
January 16, 2019 - MTC in Rouen acquires Robocath’s R-One robot for future healthcare practitioner training
January 16, 2019 - OSSIO granted FDA 510(k) market clearance for OSSIOfiber Bone Pin Family
January 16, 2019 - Childhood body composition may play a role in future respiratory health
January 16, 2019 - Outdated commissioning methods are failing mental health services in the UK, reveals report
January 16, 2019 - Unconventional immune cells trigger disturbed cytokine production in human spondyloarthritis
January 16, 2019 - Patients Turn To GoFundMe When Money And Hope Run Out
January 16, 2019 - Researchers develop novel viral identification method
January 16, 2019 - Study proposes improvements in pharmacological study of cognitive function enhancers in schizophrenia
January 16, 2019 - Study points to potential new biomarker and drug target for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
January 16, 2019 - Differences in geographic origin of genes may affect mitochondrial function
January 16, 2019 - Study analyzes vaccine-preventable infections in children who receive solid organ transplants
January 16, 2019 - MiRagen Announces New Clinical Data in Patients With Three Different Types of Blood Cancers Treated With Cobomarsen
January 16, 2019 - Scientists uncover why knee joint injury leads to osteoarthritis
January 16, 2019 - Salk team uses new model to study health effects of AMP-activated protein kinase
January 16, 2019 - Research reveals novel approach to suppressing chemotherapy-induced tumor growth
January 16, 2019 - Researchers reveal how fasting leads to better overall health
January 16, 2019 - Deprivation and neglect in early childhood have impact on cognitive functioning in adolescence, shows study
January 16, 2019 - Training Students to use Imaging Techniques: NMR and EPR
January 16, 2019 - Nerve transfer surgery restores arm movement in children with acute flaccid myelitis
January 16, 2019 - Exelixis Announces U.S. FDA Approval of Cabometyx (cabozantinib) Tablets for Previously Treated Hepatocellular Carcinoma
January 16, 2019 - DNA vaccine reduces both toxic proteins linked to Alzheimer’s
January 16, 2019 - Even in the U.S., poor women often can't afford tampons, pads
January 16, 2019 - One time use of Marijuana could affect teen brains finds study
January 16, 2019 - Persistent Opioid Use High in Head, Neck Cancer Patients
January 16, 2019 - Questions to ask your doctor about post pregnancy care: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia
January 16, 2019 - Neurons with good housekeeping are protected from Alzheimer’s
January 16, 2019 - Is mindfulness worthy of all the hype?
January 16, 2019 - Physical Activity, Any Type or Amount, Cuts Health Risk from Sitting
January 16, 2019 - New understanding in the evolution of human feet
January 15, 2019 - AHA: New Cholesterol Guidelines Put Ethnicity in the Spotlight
January 15, 2019 - Different brain areas linked to smoking and drinking
January 15, 2019 - Henry Marsh shares insights into neurosurgery and more at Dean’s Lecture Series
January 15, 2019 - Want to Live Longer? For Just 30 Minutes a Day, Do Anything Else But Sit
January 15, 2019 - The Current issue of “The view from here” is concerned with Targets
January 15, 2019 - Plain packaging sparked tobacco price rises, new study finds
January 15, 2019 - Sedentary lifestyles can be unhealthy, physical activity can lower risk
January 15, 2019 - Gut microbiome may help prevent development of cow’s milk allergy
January 15, 2019 - Lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals more likely to suffer severe substance use disorders
January 15, 2019 - New England Journal of Medicine Publishes Positive Results of the Pivotal Trial of Cablivi (caplacizumab) for Rare Blood Clotting Disorder
January 15, 2019 - Levels of inflammatory marker (CRP) linked to housing type and tenure
January 15, 2019 - Three gifts I’m glad I gave myself in 2018
January 15, 2019 - Columbia’s Pediatrics Department Names New Vice Chairs, Expands Leadership
Researchers to study the use of CRISPR on human liver on-a-chip platform

Researchers to study the use of CRISPR on human liver on-a-chip platform

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

Two Arizona State University professors are among the first recipients of Somatic Cell Genome Editing (SCGE) grants from the National Institutes of Health Common Fund. The $2,600,000, five-year grant will fund the first study of the genome editing technology CRISPR to be used on a “human liver on-a-chip” platform.

The SCGE program, launched in January 2018, is aimed at improving therapeutic options for both rare and common diseases, including supporting methods to improve editing the human genome.

Samira Kiani and Mo Ebrahimkhani, assistant professors in the School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering, are combining their expertise in Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, or CRISPR, technology and human microphysiological systems to assess the safety and efficacy of genome editing and its effects on human tissue function.

CRISPR enables researchers to target genes and genetic materials in cells to regulate how they behave and function. Because of CRISPR’s ease of engineering and programmability, it is considered a breakthrough technology with the potential to help cure disease, repair damaged body tissue and in other ways restore people’s health.

However, as with any new technology, applying the CRISPR method can potentially produce some unintended results.

“[CRISPR] is a pathogenic source, so to put this in humans, you face a number of concerns, such as toxicity, an immune response, or some other side effects that it might affect cell tissues in humans,” says Kiani, the project lead for the multi-institution endeavor. “There’s a chance introducing the system creates some sort of off-target effects in the genome, meaning that it not only influences the target DNA code, but also does some unintended modifications in parts of the genome that we don’t know [about] and don’t want.”

Kiani and Ebrahimkhani will apply the CRISPR method on the Liverchip® platform in an effort to identify the biomarkers within the human liver genome that indicate toxicity. DNA analysis will also reveal biomarkers that indicate the off-target effects of Cas9 – the DNA-cleaving enzyme used in CRISPR that enables highly precise gene editing and regulation.

Until now, CRISPR has only been tested in animal models or human cell lines. Using the Liverchip® platform provides a model that recapitulates closely human biology and will significantly reduce the number of discrepancies introduced by animal models.

These organ-on-a-chip mediums are essentially a 3D cell culture system designed to have the specific features that would exist in a human body. Multiple cells within the medium self-assemble to generate a tissue similar to a human organ, even mimicking the human body’s blood flow and the profusion of the media in cells.

“The final objective is to create a culture system that can predict the liver tissue response in humans,” says Ebrahimkhani, who worked with this platform during his studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “In the long term, we hope to be able to achieve a candidate CRISPR system that can target a specific gene in humans with control over cell type, time of action and any potential toxicity.”

The liver is likely to be one of the first human organs where gene therapies will be tested. Given the frequency of degenerative, genetic diseases associated with metabolism and the function of the liver, using the liver-on-a-chip platform as a proxy for human liver cells is ideal for studying CRISPR/Cas9’s effectiveness as a therapeutic tool.

The multidisciplinary team of investigators includes Jin Park, an assistant research professor in the Virginia G. Piper Center for Personalized Diagnostics at ASU’s Biodesign Institute. Park will help with data analysis of the RNA and DNA sequences to identify biomarkers in tissues. Linda Griffith, the School of Engineering Teaching Innovation Professor of Biological and Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a leading expert in microphysical systems, and David Hughes of CN Bio Innovations – the commercial vendor for the Liverchip®- are collaborating with the ASU team in this research. They will contribute novel technologies and their expertise relevant to human-based cellular platforms.

“We’re excited this opportunity to see that NIH entrusted the leadership of this multi-institution grant to Samira and Mo,” says Marco Santello, director of the School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering, one of the six schools in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. “It’s a true testament to the caliber of the faculty in the Fulton Schools.”

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles