Project awarded by The Leverhulme Trust

The Leverhulme Trust has awarded a 36 months research grant for the project Living interfaces based on non pathogenic bacteria to control stem cell differentiation.

bacteria

Schematics of engineered bacteria with adhesive ligands (FNIII7-10) as membrane proteins that express a growth factor (GF) as a membrane protein in response to external stimuli (inducer).

This project will further develop our “living biointerfaces” concept with non-pathogenic (food-grade Lactococcus lactis) bacteria that have been genetically modified to express in a time or stimuli controlled manner desired adhesive proteins and factors to a living cell population.

These bacteria will be modified to both continuously express a fibronectin fragment (a GFP tagged FNIII7-10 fibronectin fragment) and, on-demand, express growth factor BMP-2 as membrane bound proteins (compared to excretion of free BMP-2). With these bacteria population we plan to test that this bacteria biointerface systems allow stem cell adhesion and then promote stem cell differentiation towards the osteogenic lineage.

lactis-FN

Myogenic differentiation on living biointerfaces. Sarcomeric myosin-positive cells (green) and nuclei (red) on bacteria expressing FNIII7-10 (L. lactis-FN); control bacteria (L. lactis) and FN-coated glass .