Team Size: 8
Wiki Link: Purdue Biomakers 2009
Awards: Bronze medal
Project Title: GBM Fighting E.coli: Engineered Microglia to Seek and Destroy CD+133 cells in Glioblastoma Multiforme.
Project Description: Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is one of the most common forms of primary brain cancer, which usually results in fatality. To date, it has been difficult to overcome primary brain cancer resulting from GBM, primarily because the cancer-initiating cells are suspected to be highly resistant to current cancer therapies. The present study is focused on CD133+ cells found in primary GBM samples. CD133+ cells have shown resistance to hypoxia, irradiation, and some forms of chemotherapy. CD133+ hunting machines will be created by genetically engineering microglial cells (BV-2) with two constructs using mammalian expression vectors. The project will also take advantage of inherent qualities of the microglia such as constant environmental sensing and quick motility. The engineered BV-2s will be equipped to locate the specific GBMs and label the targeted cells with a tat-GFP fusion protein. To create an in-vivo-like environment, the cells will be grown in 3D collagen media. This would create a maze and challenge the microglia to seek out the cancer cells. Cell sorting techniques will be used to measure the accuracy in hitting positive targets, the CD133+ cells. It is the goal of this study to show an alternative approach to cancer treatment, and to emphasize the power of biologically available options to fight the disease.