Over the last several years we have pioneered the development of the 'immunocamouflage' of foreign cells and tissues via cell surface modification with biocompatible polymers such as methoxypoly(ethylene glycol) [mPEG] and polyoxazolines [POZ]. The immunocamouflage of cells arises due to polymer obfuscation of the cell surface charge as well as the physical (steric) camouflage of antigenic epitopes by the highly mobile nanoscale grafted polymer structures. As a consequence, allorecognition of donor cell is dramatically attenuated. Our initial application of this 'stealth' technology has been in transfusion medicine (1996 - present) as a means of preventing RBC alloimmunization of the non-A/B blood groups.
The 'immunocamouflage' of foreign cells and tissues via cell surface modification with biocompatible polymers such as methoxypoly(ethylene glycol) [mPEG] can be used to modulate the immune response both in vitro and in vivo. This immune modulation arises consequent to the upregulation of regulatory T cells (Tregs) and the down regulation of effector (Teff; pro-inflammatory) T cells. The INCREASE in the Treg:Teff ratio induces a tolerogenic state in the treated animal.
Using bioreactor systems, the 'immunocamouflage' of leukocytes can be used to generate microRNA (miRNA) that can be administered in vitro or in vivo to induce either tolerance of a proinflammatory state. These miRNA biologics are stable and highly effective. the miRNA biologics modulate the immune system by regulating the Treg:Teff ratio.
Broad Spectrum Antiviral Prophylactic Gel: The immunocamouflage technology has been successfully applied in the development of a broad spectrum anti-viral prophylactic gel. Our studies have documented the effectiveness of the anti-viral gel (e.g., suitable for intranasal administration) against a broad range of RNA and DNA, enveloped and non-enveloped, viruses. The prophylactic nasal gel is easy to apply and gives significant protection against viral invasion for at least 48 hours post application.
Alloimmunization to non-ABO Blood Group Antigens is a significant problem in transfusion medicine - especially in the chronically transfused patient. Our initial work on the immunocamouflage of cells was focused on this problem and led to the development of the "Stealth RBC". By grafting methoxy(Poly Ethylene) glycol to the membrane of normal donor RBC we camouflage the non-ABO antigens from immune recognition (ie., immunocamouflage) byt the blood recipient. This approach is being actively pursued within Canadian Blood Services as a means to address the transfusion needs of patients with severe alloimmunization or extremely rare blood types.
Dr. Scott's laboratory pioneered the immunocamouflage of intact cells via the covalent grafting of low immunogenic polymers. The labs research has focused on the application of immunocamouflage in transfusion, transplantation and infectious disease medicine. In addition, Dr. Scotts laboratory has developed the necessary manufacturing and delivery technologies for the clinical implementation of the immunocamouflage technology.
The Scott laboratory has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals and received funding from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR), and the Canadian Blood Services. Our research has yielded multiple issued and pending patents in the areas of hematology, immunology, microbiology and virology.
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Canadian Blood Services manufactures and manages the blood supply for all Canadians. Created by Canada in 1998, it operates at arms length from the government of Canada.
Founded in 2002, the UBC Centre for Blood Research (CBR) applies emerging methods in biotechnology to the study of blood and blood processing in an integrated, interdisiplinary manner to create new knowledge in pursuit of health