Category: Assay Development and Screening

1135-A - Three-Dimensional Cell-co culture System for drug screening of cell therapy for spinal cord injury

Monday, February 5, 2018
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Spinal cord injury (SCI) is considered one of the most devastating injuries one can experience and currently there is no cure and limited treatments are available. The transplantation of glial cells including olfactory ensheathing cells (OEC) and Schwann cells (SC) has been investigated as a potential therapy for SCI. OECs assist in regeneration of olfactory neurons while SCs support nerve regeneration in the rest of the peripheral nervous system. In SCI, scar tissue, which is mainly constituted of astrocytes, forms after injury and prevents neuronal regrowth. When SCs or OECs are transplanted into the injured spinal cord, the scar tissue tends to be inhibitory to the proliferation and migration of SCs whereas OECs can interact with the astrocytes, but the cell interactions are not fully understood. Here we describe the development of 3D OEC-astrocytes and SC-astrocytes co-culture systems to investigate the mechanisms of cell-cell interaction in cell-based transplantation therapy for spinal cord injury. We used these 3D models to identify compounds enhancing the cell function of SCs or OECs in an astrocyte co-culture by using high-content imaging. Therefore, this study will contribute to cell-based transplantation therapy research and potentially improve the treatment of SCI.

Mo Chen

PhD candidate
Griffith University -
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

I started my PhD research from 2016. I have identified more than 20 natural compounds that enhance the proliferation, migration and phagocytosis of OECs, which are characteristics important for repairing the injured spinal cord. Right now, my research focus on drug screening in 3D cell culture model.