Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine
SENS Research Foundation is currently sponsoring two projects at Wake forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine. They are:
Thymic tissue regeneration
Tissue engineering offers the potential for treatment of many age related diseases. Decreased immunity is a major problem in the elderly resulting in the increase of infection related problems along with a decreased effectiveness of vaccination. T cells develop and mature in the thymus. During aging, the thymus undergoes involution resulting in a decrease in T cell production. Methods to increase T cell output from the thymus have the potential to improve the immune function of older individuals. SENS Research Foundation is funding studies at Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine which are using tissue engineering techniques to regenerate thymic tissue. Data on production and characterization of thymus scaffolds were presented at SENS5. Re-seeding of the scaffolds will be described as well as preliminary data on the in vitro function of the recellularized thymic tissue. Video of this presentation is available at the following links: Part 1 and Part 2.
Reseeding gut stem cells
Researchers at Wake Forest are also working to enhance the homing and anti-inflammatory properties of mesenchymal stem cells, and thereby enable them to traffic to a diseased or damaged intestine at high levels and reduce inflammation and immune hyper-reactivity. Subsequently, they intend will test whether endothelial progenitor cells, if delivered shortly after mesenchymal stem cells, can garner the benefit of the mesenchymal stem cells' anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects and gain the ability to engraft at significant levels and within an injured or inflamed intestine and contribute to endothelial repair and neovascularization.