Host rejection is a major concern in transplantation medicine. Development of novel chemical approaches for the prevention of immunological rejection of donor cells, tissues/organs is of critical importance in advancing transplantation techniques. Cell surface engineering to modulate biological functions of cells/organs in vivo is an important tool to address these challenges.
Novel Cell Surface Engineering Approaches for Cell-based Therapies: Blood transfusion is an invaluable tool in transplantation medicine. Unintentional mismatching of red blood cells (RBCs), shortage of blood supply for people with rare blood groups, and alloimmunization due to chronic transfusion remain as challenges to blood transfusion. Generation of antigen-masked/protected RBCs is extremely challenging due to the presence of prominent carbohydrate-based antigens (ABO system), RhD groups and multitude of minor antigens (>300). We are developing novel cell surface modification methods based on glycocalyx mimicking polymeric coatings to mask low-lying antigens in combination with highly efficient cell surface reactive glycosidases to cleave the extended A/B antigens and eliminate the immune reactivity of donor cells. This technology has potential to tremendously improve overall blood supply and transfusion safety and is directly applicable to other cells/tissue transplantation. We are currently adapting these techniques to preserve organs and stem cells towards efficient transplantation.
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