Agata Pruska is currently working on a project aiming to determine whether genetically modified mesenchymal stem cells’ extracellular vesicles (EVs) with increased binding affinity to laminin would induce phenotypic change of Schwann cells into a repair phenotype. That phenotype of Schwann cells is crucial during the regeneration of axons after peripheral nerve damage.
In the course of this project, the team isolates genetically modified EVs from mesenchymal stem cells that are supposed to have increased binding affinity to laminin and be GFP positive. They later test their concentration and fluorescence with NTA. As a next step, Agata loads the EVs into Schwann cells and uses those to see if the EVs changed the Schwann cells phenotype into a more proliferative one. She does that by looking into their mRNA and protein expression (qPCR and Western Blot) to see if the expression of proliferative markers is increased. She uses FACS to see if the Schwann cells that have taken up fluorescent EVs are also fluorescent. Finally, the team checks the uptake of those EVs by the cells with confocal microscopy.