24 June 2021

Nanoparticles for stem cells

Stem cells have grown on paper

RAS Press Service

Researchers from the Institute of High Molecular Compounds of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the G.I. Turner Medical Center for Adults and Children, the Institute of Chemistry of St. Petersburg State University, the Institute of Silicate Chemistry, the Institute of Theoretical and Experimental Biophysics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the N.S. Kurnakov Institute of General and Inorganic Chemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Research Institute of Physico-Chemical Problems of the Belarusian State University we have developed a special substrate for the effective cultivation of stem cells. The research may be useful for the development of new materials and technologies in the field of regenerative medicine. The article was published in the journal Polymers (Gofman et al., Bacterial cellulose-based nanocomposites containing ceria and their use in the process of stem cell proliferation), the study was supported by a grant from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation (state contract No. 14.W03.31.0014, MegaGrant) and RFBR grant No. 20-33-70236.

Stem cells are the main tool of regenerative (regenerative) medicine. They are able to self-renew, divide through mitosis and differentiate into specialized cells, that is, turn into cells of various organs and tissues. In order to restore damaged organs and tissues, treat serious diseases and preserve youth, regenerative medicine technologies are being created, which are developing at a record pace and are already yielding impressive results.

An international team of authors from St. Petersburg, Pushchino, Moscow and Minsk has proposed a new technology for creating substrates for stem cell growth. It is proposed to create such substrates on the basis of bacterial cellulose modified with cerium oxide nanoparticles, which give it a unique bioactivity and provide accelerated division of stem cells on its surface.

The scientists used special fluorescent mouse stem cells. Such cells are isolated from transgenic mice that have a mutation that gives a green glow to all cells of the body. This allowed the researchers to visualize stem cells on a substrate and analyze the process of their accelerated division. "The substrate itself is synthesized from bacterial cellulose, which is produced by bacteria Acetobacteraceae bacteria in the process of its vital activity. Stem cells are attached to bacterial cellulose substrates, but they do not grow well enough. Therefore, we additionally treated such substrates with bioactive cerium oxide nanoparticles, which gave it not only a special microstructure of the surface, which ensured better cell attachment, but also activated the genes responsible for the proliferative activity of stem cells," said one of the authors of the article, Director of the IONKH RAS, corresponding member. RAS Vladimir Konstantinovich Ivanov.


Russian researchers have been studying the bioactivity of cerium oxide nanoparticles for more than 10 years. Previously, they showed that cerium oxide nanoparticles are able to accelerate the healing of burn and incised wounds, relieve local inflammation and accelerate the proliferation of human stem cells. Now the consortium of scientists is aimed at creating new composite materials and polymers modified with such nanoparticles that will be used to grow stem cells and treat skin damage of various etiologies.

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