New Technology Could Improve Cell Transplants

April 29, 2002

Public Affairs

Belmont, MA - Technology invented by McLean Hospital psychiatrist and researcher Miles Cunningham, MD, PhD, could dramatically improve the effectiveness of current and future stem cell implantations.

Last week, Med-Core, Inc., a division of Coretech-Holdings, LLC, announced it will start a new project to develop a unique device for intracerebral microinjections, using Cunningham's technology. McLean will collaborate with Med-Core in the product's development. The National Institutes of Health has also given grant money to supplement the research.

"Neurosurgical procedures primarily involve removing pathological tissue from the brain and spinal cord," says Cunningham. "But an emerging area of neurosurgery, neurology and psychiatry is concerned with replacing or adding cells, neural stem cells, tissue or other therapeutics to distinct loci within the central nervous system. The intracerebral microinjection device will be highly effective in these applications."

Neural transplantation, injecting cells from outside the brain, holds promise as a method of reconstituting cell populations, supplementing levels of certain brain chemicals and reestablishing neural circuitry.

"Delivery of cells using this device can result in a 250-percent or more increase in cell survival," states Charles W. Scouten, PhD, president of Med-Core, Inc. and principal investigator on the project. "We anticipate the device will greatly impact the level and quality of patient care for individuals with Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, some types of epilepsy and stroke."

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