Biomedical Engineering Blog

Biomedical Engineering

The Biomedical Engineering blog is the place for conversation and discussion about topics related to engineering principles of the medical field. Here, you'll find everything from discussions about emerging medical technologies to advances in medical research. The blog's owner, Chelsey H, is a graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) with a degree in Biomedical Engineering.

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Testing Biologics

Posted March 17, 2015 3:24 PM by Chelsey H

A new type of test could help researchers give a more accurate prediction of how patients might respond to biologics, such as the cancer drugs Herceptin and Avastin.

Biologics are manufactured in a living system such as a microorganism, plant, or animal cell. They are very large, complex molecules and many are produced using recombinant DNA technology. According to bio.org, "Drugs generally have well-defined chemical structures... By contrast it is difficult, and sometimes impossible, to characterize a complex biologic by testing methods available in the laboratory, and some of the components of a finished biologic may be unknown." This makes biologics unpredictable not only in humans, but in various parts of a patient's body.

Biologics affect cell interactions deep in the body, making testing in petri dishes inadequate for observing all the side effects. Because these medicines are specific to humans, they can cause severe reactions that don't materialize in animal studies.

FASEB Journal recently published a new, more reliable test which only requires blood from one donor. Researchers from Imperial College in London isolated stem cells from a donor's blood and then grew endothelial cells in a petri dish to recreate the conditions in the blood vessels. Once the endothelial cells were established, the researchers took white blood cells from the same donor and combined them to recreate the unique donor's blood vessel conditions. Image Credit

The new method of combining cells from a single donor's blood can better predict whether a new drug will cause a severe immune reaction in humans.

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Join Date: Dec 2014
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Re: Testing Biologics

05/07/2015 6:28 AM

First of very thank you to posting this informative blog.

The vaccines and biologics lab provides a unique resource to aid in the development of vaccines, monoclonal antibodies, fusion proteins, protein drug conjugates and peptides. This breadth is matched by depth of therapeutic area knowledge and scientific expertise.

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