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Materials presenting Notch signaling molecules to control cell behavior

This technology has direct application to stem cell therapy, regenerative medicine, and tissue engineering in vivo (in the patient) and in vitro (in tissue culture dish).
-In vitro stem cell manipulation- Using this method of introducing Notch signaling will allow for directed differentiation of stem cells into therapeutically-relevant cell lineages in a tightly controlled process.
-Drug Screening and Tissue Modeling- targeting the Notch pathway

Intellectual Property Status: Patent(s) Pending

Applications

Notch signaling is a crucial determinant governing whether stem cells undergo self-renewal or terminal differentiation. Therefore, it has a wide-spread role in shaping tissues and organs by regulating stem cell behavior in numerous types of cell lineages like: the lymphoid, intestinal, neural, pancreatic, hematopoietic (blood), and myogenic (skeletal muscle) lineages. It has also been proposed to enhance and/or direct the generation of particular, therapeutically relevant tissue precursor cells. The ability to modulate Notch signaling by the introduction of Notch-activating ligands, would have significant impact on the development of stem cell therapies. However, recent studies have illustrated that soluble Notch ligands are incapable of activating Notch signaling, highlighting a major obstacle to commercializing Notch ligands for therapeutic or research purposes.

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