Cell therapies are promising up-and-coming therapeutic strategies for many diseases. For maximal therapeutic benefits, injected cells have to navigate their way to a designated area, including organ and tissue; unfortunately, the majority of therapeutic cells are currently administered without a guide or homing device. To improve this serious shortcoming, a functionalization method was developed to equip cells with a homing signal. Its application was demonstrated by applying an Azadibenzocyclooctyne-bisphosphonate (ADIBO-BP) and azide paired bioorthogonal chemistry on cells for bone specific homing. Jurkat T cells and bone marrow derived stromal cells (BMSCs) were cultured with tetraacetylated N-azidoacetyl-d-mannosamine (Ac4ManNAz) to place unnatural azido groups onto the cell's surface; these azido groups were then reacted with ADIBO-BP. The tethered bisphosphonates were able to bring Jurkat cells to hydroxyapatite, the major component of bone, and mineralized SAOS-2 cells. The incorporated BP groups also enhanced the specific affinity of BMSCs to mouse femur bone fragments in vitro. The introduced navigation strategy is expected to have a broad application in cell therapy, because through the biocompatible ADIBO and azide reactive pair, various homing signals could be efficiently anchored onto therapeutic cells.
Keywords: Bioorthogonal chemistry; Bisphosphonate; Bone; Cell homing; Cell therapy.
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