Year 3

The aim of this project is to develop technology to stimulate and guide human neural stem cells to repair and regenerate damaged tissues. The CIRM grant provided support that move both the science and technology forward and closer to clinical use.

Specifically, we have for the first time 1) demonstrated effectiveness of using electric stimulation to enhance migration of human stem cells to migrate directionally; 2) developed new techniques to stimulate cells in 3D and in vivo; 3) demonstrated synergistic effects of chemical guidance and electric stimulation on human stem cells.

We have successfully completed all the original proposed goals for year 3. Specific Aims that have been completed are: Aim 1B (Direct hNSCs in 2D), Aim 2A (Purinergic signaling), Aim 2B (Ca++ signaling). Aim 3A (Direct SCs in 3D), and Aim 3B (Transplant SCs in vivo and direct migration of SCs) are fully started as planned, with major part of 3A finished.

Our original hypothesis is that EFs are a powerful signal to direct migration of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and human nerve stem cells (hNSCs) through purinergic signaling. Three specific Aims with the following time scales were set in the proposal: Aim 1. To guide migration of hESCs and hNSCs. Aim 2. To elucidate purinergic receptor/Ca2+ signaling in EF-directed stem cell migration. Aim 3. To direct migration of hESCs and hNSCs in 3D. We have finished all proposed research and are writing up for publication.