A device and kit for isolating therapeutic quantities of vasculgenic cells from blood that acts as an autologous adult stem cell therapy for the treatment of limb ischemia, ischemic heart disease, and other vascular-related disorders.
- Reduces complexity and expense of current autologous stem cell therapies.
- Cells can be isolated and transplanted at the point of care without expanding in culture.
- Isolation & sorting of stem cells uses currently available cell-sorting technology.
- Uses a novel cell surface marker to isolate endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs, blood vessel forming cells) from peripheral blood.
Recent advances in stem cell therapy have demonstrated the viability of bone marrow-derived stem cells for regrowing vasculature and restoring blood flow after an ischemic event. The biggest hurdle to these therapies has been the inability to efficiently identify, isolate, and sort-out EPCs from samples in quantities sufficient for transplantation. Currently isolated EPCs must be removed and cultured before transplant, which adds expense, time, and the possibility of contamination to EPC transplant therapy. Emory inventor Dr. Young-sup Yoon has devised a novel method for isolating EPCs directly from peripheral blood by employing a new cell surface marker CD31. CD31+ EPCs that are vasculogenic can be directly isolated from a patient's peripheral blood in therapeutic quantities, thus making them ideal candidates for revascularization transplants following events such as heart attacks, limb injuries or neuropathy. This discovery could serve as the basis for a device that screens and isolates EPCs on location during surgery using currently available cell-sorting technologies. This would reduce the complexity, time and expense associated with isolating EPCs used to treat vascular diseases including limb ischemia.
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CD31+ cells isolated by this method have been demonstrated to be effective at regenerating vasculature and improving blood flow in mouse models of ischemic limb-injuries.