Stem Cell Therapy: Replacing Damaged Cells with Novel Device
The project has developed a novel nano-substrate for safe and swift cell culture. It can effectively reduce the risk of carcinogenesis or inflammation in stem cell therapy by minimising the use of growth factors. This invention has been successfully patented in the US, China and Europe, and has been published by the renowned journal, Advanced Science (IF:15.8).
Incurable neurodegenerative diseases have been long regarded as a serious threat to global health. Stem cell therapy, which promises to cure those incurable diseases, uses stem cells to cultivate new and normal cells, tissues or organs. These can then be transplanted into the patient to restore physiological function by replacing damaged or dead cells. Currently, commercial stem cell cultivation usually requires various growth factors and organic compounds. However, the overuse of growth factors has been found to cause a high risk of carcinogenicity or inflammation in vivo after transplantation, and as a result, they have been prohibited from clinical cell processing by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA, US). To tackle this problem, we invented a novel medical device which is composed of biocompatible extracellular nanomatrices to swiftly and specifically differentiate neural stem cells into functional neurons to treat neurodegenerative diseases with the minimum usage of growth factors, enabling us to meet the FDA requirement for in vivo cell therapy. We have submitted a 513(g) application to the FDA to determine the correct classification of our product.
Achievements / Awards Received
- Gold Medal with Congratulations of Jury award in the 46th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva (2018)
- Silver award in the 4th China College Students' "Internet+" Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition (2018)
- Third prize in the 1st “Beijing-Hong Kong Youth Innovation Cup” Entrepreneurship Competition (2018)
- Second prize in the Hong Kong Division of The Innovation Nanshan Entrepreneurs Star” Contest 2018;
- TechConnect Innovation Award 2019;
- Third prize in the 2nd “Creation of Youth” Greater Bay Area Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition (2019)
- Bronze prize in the 6th “Creation of Youth” China Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition (2019)
- Third prize in the 8th China Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition of Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan (2019)
- Zhang SQ#, Sun P#, Lin KL#, Chan FHL, Gao Q, Lau WF, Roy VAL, Zhang HQ, Lai KWC*, Huang ZF*, and Yung KKL*. Extracellular nanomatrix-induced self-organization of neural stem cells into miniature substantia nigra-like structures with therapeutic effects on Parkinsonian rats. Advanced Science 2019, 6 (24): 1901822.