PREMSTEM meeting February 2024

In our first consortium online meeting of 2024 we discussed scientific progress and future planning

The team at Maastricht University is leading the work looking at the short and long-term effects of the mesenchymal stem cells in a sheep model of brain injury, which includes monitoring changes in behaviour and movement as well as brain structure and function. Many partners in the consortium are involved in this work.

In the short-term infection model, the study of tissues and organs under a microscope (histology) will be finished in the coming months. In the short-term asphyxia model, brain sections will be sent to RMIT University in Australia for analysis. The MRI scans are also ready to be analysed by the University of Geneva.

In the long-term infection model the team in Maastricht is looking at sheep behaviour, including their tendency to explorative behaviour.

The Radboudumc team is trying to identify if it is possible to screen peripheral blood in the clinic to predict positive responses to stem cell treatment. To do so, the researchers have been profiling the blood samples from the sheep at Maastricht. These analyses have revealed positive impacts of stem cell treatment.

All in all, we are consistently seeing positive effects brought about by the stem cells when looking at structural changes in brain, behavioural impact and the blood in the large animal models.

The Iconeus team presented an innovative new technology development which they’re using on PREMSTEM and other research projects. This technology can show arteries and veins in the cortex to find differences in speed and blood flow at different depths.

They also showed detailed images acquired using the 3D ultrasound system which has been installed in the Inserm lab. With this machine, it’s possible to image 16 planes in just two seconds. After this it is possible to inject microbubbles to see the brain’s vascular profile.

Finally, in this meeting we also confirmed that the next face-to face annual meeting will be hosted by the team at the University of Gothenburg in June and discussed an initial programme for the PREMSTEM final conference to be organised by RMIT Europe in Barcelona in 2025.