The complexity of biological system urgently demands computational models which can produce new understanding and new medicine. Keeping in view Khwarizmi Science society and Journal Club at IRCBM, COMSATS jointly presents a seminar on agent based modeling approach in Investigating Multiscale Tumorigenesis in the Warburg Effect.
Early stage tumorigenesis includes the formation of glycolytic cells in the tissue. However, the precise multi-scale processes underlying this transformation of healthy epithelial cells into tumorigenic glycolytic phenotypes, continues to be a matter of debate. In this work, we investigate this cellular transformation by using an agent based modeling approach and decode a multifactorial mechanism which upon triggering may lead to the onset of tumorigenesis
Nanotechnology is an interdisciplinary field which has brought marvels not only in solid-state device industry rather various bio-medical applications like gene sensing, DNA sequencing and bio-detection etc. owe a lot to this interdisciplinary research. It’s because of bio-nanotechnology that we are able to bring the sensitivity of current bio-sensing platforms down to the molecular level. This presentation will give you an overview of the techniques as well as the latest developments in the field of Bio-Nanotechnology. Both aspects of the presentation will be highlighted by examples of various nano-systems relevant for biomedical applications such as nanoparticle synthesis, formation of nanostructured surfaces, interaction of proteins as well as bio-membranes with drugs and insight into DNA and drug delivery systems.
Biomaterials are defined as materials that are used in medical devices or are in contact with biological systems. Their application can range from skeletal systems (bone implants, knee joints, dental implants etc), cardiovascular systems (stents, catheter, heart valve etc), organs (artificial kidney, heart lung machine, skin etc) and senses (contact lens, corneal bandage etc). The field of biomaterials uses ideas from medicine, biology, physics, chemistry, materials sciences, engineering, ethics, law and health care. Biomaterials are usually integrated into devices or implants hence the interdisciplinary aspect is important for progress. The field brings together researchers from diverse academic backgrounds. They must communicate clearly. Some disciplines that intersect in the development, study and application of biomaterials include: bioengineer, chemist, chemical engineer, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, materials scientist, biologist, microbiologist, physician, veterinarian, ethicist, nurse, lawyer, regulatory specialist and venture capitalist. Biomaterials can be metals, ceramics, polymers, glasses, carbons, and composite materials. Such materials are used as molded or machined parts, coatings, fibers, films, foams and fabrics. One of the major applications of biomaterials is in the field of tissue engineering. This field combines the knowledge of engineering, life sciences and clinical practice to solve the problem of tissue loss or damage, aimed at facilitating the regeneration of damaged or diseased tissue. The essence of tissue engineering is the use of living cells, together with degradable scaffolds and growth factors in development of implantable parts or devices for the restoration of body function. A major component in the revolutionary field of tissue engineering is the development of the suitable scaffold for seeding cells, growth factors and subsequent growth of tissues. There has been a considerable effort devoted to improving material and biological properties of scaffolds used in bone tissue engineering during the past decade. We developed and investigated different porous scaffolds with improved material properties and biological functions. An introduction to various scaffold materials developed in the lab along with future challenges will be presented towards the end.
Studies of the DNA sequence are paving the ways to diagnose diseases at much early stages leading to possible cures of cancer. Presence of mutated genes could be considered a risk for undesired production of proteins resulting in diseases like cancer. This seminar will highlight the biology of the microarrays, different classification techniques to diagnose cancer and the necessary tools to increase the accuracy of diagnosis.
Advent of Recombinant DNA Technology has made it possible to detect defective genes and replace them with "good" genes. Consequently the genetic diseases, which result on mutations can now be cured. The first successful gene therapy experient was done on a 9 year old Indian girl Ashanti in 1990 in USA, who was suffering from a fatal immunological disease - SCID, which is caused by a mutation in ADA gene. The scientists introduced the the "good" copy of the gene in her body and were successful in curing her of this fatal disease. This encouraged other researchers and now several methods are being tried to cure genetic diseases. The 21st Century is the era of Gene therapy and keeping in view tremendous advancements made in the Recombinant DNA technology, it is expected that cure for several genetic defects would be available within the next decade.
Some Expert Comments:
- The detection of defective genes and their replacement works quite well in vitro, but not in-vivo.
- There are no cures to genetic disorders based on mutations. I assure you this is incorrect; there has not been a single case of gene therapy curing a genetic disorder. Efforts to transduce normal copies of genes into patients with genetic disorders have been successful to varying degrees, but no cures yet.
- In Ashanta's story, there was no cure - simply incorrect. It was nonetheless a hallmark in biomedical research; it hinted at the promise gene therapy held.
- As far as the claim that genetic therapy may cure several disorders in the next decade, only time will tell. I would not venture to be so prophetic. A few years ago Harold Varmus, then director of the National Institutes of Health, assembled a panel of experts to assess the status of the field of gene therapy. You see, for quite some time many in the field had been feeling that gene therapy was being pushed to the patient's bed prematurely. The panel's conclusion was right on the mark: the field needs much more research at the fundamental levels, such as development of safe, efficient, and specific gene delivery vectors.