Researchers use graphene oxide to develop devices that could advance future cellular therapy for multiple sclerosis patients

A team from the National Hospital for Paraplegics (SESCAM), in collaboration with the Materials Science Institute of Madrid (ICMM-CSIC), has shown how new cell culture devices based on graphene oxide maintain the anti-inflammatory function of myeloid suppressor cells (MDSCs) once isolated from the donor's body. This function could be crucial for advancing cellular therapy beneficial to people with multiple sclerosis. 

"To exert their inflammation-controlling function in diseases such as multiple sclerosis, myeloid suppressor cells must maintain a very immature state. However, when extracted from the bone marrow and cultured in the laboratory, they begin to mature, losing their immunosuppressive activity, rendering them unsuitable for potential cellular therapy for patients with this type of neurodegenerative disease," explains Diego Clemente, a researcher at the National Hospital for Paraplegics and one of the lead authors of the study.


This recent study succeeded in designing "new devices based on coating cell culture supports with reduced graphene oxide sheets, which allow the maintenance of bone marrow myeloid suppressor cells from animals with experimental multiple sclerosis in a morphological, maturation, and activity state very similar to that present in the original organism. This favors the inflammation control function of these cells and could be a good technological support for future use in cellular therapy for multiple sclerosis."

In recent years, nanomedicine has emerged as a revolutionary field for developing novel medical applications. Among the most relevant nanomaterials being investigated for biomedical applications, graphene derivatives are becoming promising candidates for both diagnostic and therapeutic uses.

"Another interesting aspect of this research lies in the versatility of graphene oxide," explains Conchi Serrano, a researcher at ICMM-CSIC and one of the study's lead authors. "This work has allowed us to demonstrate that the physicochemical modification of this nanomaterial is capable of exerting specific and opposite biological effects on myeloid suppressor cells, maintaining their cellular viability or inducing their death," she points out.

Such studies on the modification of the biology of myeloid suppressor cells through graphene-based nanomaterials "demonstrate that their versatility makes them promising nanotechnological tools for modifying myeloid suppressor cells in various pathological contexts, such as autoimmune diseases, where their enhancement would promote inflammation control, or cancer, where their inactivation or elimination is a successful strategy for immune evasion control behind the uncontrolled growth of tumor cells," Serrano concluded.

Posted: Apr 10,2024 by Roni Peleg