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Introduction

Medical

biotechnology is the
fusion of genetics,
cell biology and
many other sciences
in order to further
advances in
medicine.

Why is medical
biotechnology important?
The main reason for

medical
biotechnology is to
prolong life.
Other reasons are to
ease suffering of
palliative care
patients or to
increase accessibility
for people with
disabilities.

1) Monoclonal Antibodies
(mAb)
They are so called

because they are


clones of an
individual parent cell.
Remember,
antibodies are
specific proteins that
target pathogens
invading our body.

1) Monoclonal Antibodies
(mAb)
Steps in making them:
1. Human antibody genes

are put into a mouse.


2. Mouse is infected causing
it to make human
antibody producing cells
(B-cells).
3. These cells are removed
from the mouse and fused
with a tumour cell.
4. Now we have a tumour
cell that is constantly
producing antibodies and
more cells like itself.

1) Monoclonal Antibodies
(mAb)
This technology is used

primarily to fight off


cancer cells as these
monoclonal antibodies
can be trained to
target markers that
show up on cancer
cells.
The mAbs will then
destroy the cancer cell
and go looking for
more.

2) Bioprocessing
Bioprocessing is the

mass production of
human proteins,
vaccines, etc by
genetically modifying
bacteria or viruses.
This allows for a large
quantity of the desired
product to be created in
a short amount of time
and for a relatively low
cost.

2) Bioprocessing
The main product

currently bioprocessed is
insulin, the human protein
responsible for lowering
blood sugar after eating.
The human gene for
insulin is placed into
bacteria, these are
cultured and allowed to
produce insulin which is
collected, purified and
sold to the millions of
diabetics worldwide.

3) Stem Cells
A stem cell is a cell

that has the potential


to become any cell
type in the human
body.
Everyone has stem
cells, but they are
very hard to access.
The easiest place to
get stem cells is from
an embryo.

3) Stem Cells
Stem cells are

introduced into a
damaged area of the
body where, under the
right conditions, will
replace the damaged
area.
Often times stem cells
are grown in a lab first
to ensure the right
conditions and then
placed into a sick
person.

3) Stem Cells
Stem cells are currently

being tested to treat


everything from Crohns
disease to baldness!
The main areas where
stem cells have proven
their worth is in bone
marrow transplants,
replacing damaged heart
tissue after a heart attack
and replacing damaged
nerve tissue which gives
hope to anyone who has
had a spinal cord injury.

4) Tissue Engineering
A form of regenerative

medicine, tissue
engineering is the
creation of human
tissue outside the
body for later
replacement.
Usually occurs on a
tissue scaffold, but
can be grown on/in
other organisms as
shown on the right.

4) Tissue Engineering
Tissue engineers have

created artificial skin,


cartilage and bone
marrow.
Current projects being
undertaken include
creating an artificial liver,
pancreas and bladder.
Again, we are far from
replacing a whole organ,
but just looking for
refurbishing our slightly
used ones at the
moment.

Homework
1) Define the following terms: medical

biotechnology, bioprocessing, tissue


engineering, stem cell and monoclonal
antibody.
2) Which technology do you feel is/will be the
most effective/helpful? Why?
3) If you had the cash and the technology, what
would you tissue engineer and why?