News Column

New Findings on Gene Therapy from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Summarized

June 26, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Gene Therapy Weekly -- Research findings on Biotechnology are discussed in a new report. According to news reporting out of Beer Sheva, Israel, by NewsRx editors, research stated, "When fractured, bone can spontaneously heal to a certain extent. In critical-size defects, in which bone loss is severe, a bone graft is required."

Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research from the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, "Faced with the shortcomings of grafts currently in use-autografts, allografts, and mineral-based bone substitutes-efforts are being made to establish new methods of bone regeneration. One promising approach involves the use of exogenous gene-modified mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which can rapidly repair large bone defects in animal models. Unfortunately, ex vivo culture of MSCs may add certain complexity to the advancement of this cell therapy to the clinic. Previously, we demonstrated efficient bone regeneration following direct gene delivery to endogenous MSCs that had been attracted to a fracture site. In that study, electroporation was used, but it is an invasive method of gene transfection that may result in tissue damage. Unlike electroporation, sonoporation-the use of ultrasound for gene delivery-is noninvasive, considered safer, and relevant to the clinical setting. In this study, we evaluated the feasibility of ultrasound-based gene delivery to resident MSCs that had been recruited to a fracture site in different animal models. Our results show transient (up to 21 days) expression of a reporter gene in radial, vertebral, and tibial bone defects in mice, rats, and a minipig."

According to the news editors, the research concluded: "These results could prove beneficial for the next phase of experiments, in which osteogenic genes such as the bone morphogentic proteins (BMPs) could be utilized to achieve bone regeneration in similar challenging conditions of bone tissue loss."

For more information on this research see: Ultrasound-mediated transgene expression in endogenous stem cells recruited to bone injury sites. Polymers for Advanced Technologies, 2014;25(5):525-531. Polymers for Advanced Technologies can be contacted at: Wiley-Blackwell, 111 River St, Hoboken 07030-5774, NJ, USA. (Wiley-Blackwell -; Polymers for Advanced Technologies -

Our news journalists report that additional information may be obtained by contacting G. Shapiro, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Dept. of Chem Engn, IL-84105 Beer Sheva, Israel. Additional authors for this research include I. Kallai, D. Sheyn, W. Tawackoli, Y.D. Koh, H. Bae, T. Trietel, R. Goldbart, J. Kost, Z. Gazit, D. Gazit and G. Pelled (see also Biotechnology).

Keywords for this news article include: Asia, Biotechnology, Tissue Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Biomedicine, Israel, Beer Sheva, Gene Therapy, Bone Research, Bioengineering, Bone Regeneration, Stem Cell Research, Regeneration Medicine

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Source: Gene Therapy Weekly

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