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1. WO2001079851 - DIAGNOSTIQUE PRENATAL NON INVASIF UTILISANT DES CELLULES FOETALES CD45-NEGATIVES

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CLAIMS

1. A process for preparing cells, comprising the steps of (a) extracting a blood sample from a pregnant female, and (b) enriching nucleated CD45've fetal cells therein.

2. The process of claim 1 , wherein the nucleated CD45"ve cells are adherent

3. The process of claim 1 or claim 2, wherein the nucleated CD45"ve fetal cells are also CD14"ve, CD34've, CD68-ve, vWF"ve, myoglobin ve, collagen-rve, cytokeratin ve, CD44+ve, CD105+ve, CD106+ve, prolyl-4-hydroxylase+ve, fibronectin+ve, α-smooth muscle actin+ve, and/or laminin+ve.

4. The process of any preceding claim, wherein the blood sample is taken during the first trimester of pregnancy.

5. The process of any preceding claim, wherein step (b) initially comprises a step for separating mononuclear cells.

6. The process of any preceding claim, wherein step (b) involves (i) the separation of fetal cells from maternal cells and/or (ii) cell culture under conditions that favour the expansion of fetal cells compared with maternal cells.

7. The process of claim 6, wherein (i) comprises separation based on immunophenotype.

8. The process of claim 7, wherein (i) comprises separation based on CD45.

9. The process of any preceding claim, comprising MACS and/or FACS.

10. The process of any preceding claim, wherein step (b) comprises adherent cell culture.

11. The process of claim 10, where the adherent cell culture is followed by trypsinisation and re-plating.

12. The process of claim 6, wherein (ii) comprises culture that induces mesengenic differentiation.

13. The process of claim 11, wherein the fetal cells differentiate into adipocytes, osteocytes or chondrocytes.

14. A process for prenatal testing of a fetus for a genetic disorder, comprising the steps of preparing CD45"ve fetal cells according to any preceding claim, and testing the enriched nucleated CD45"ve fetal cells for a genetic disorder.

15. The process of claim 14, wherein the genetic disorder has a chromosomal basis.

16. The process of claim 15, wherein the genetic disorder causes Down's Syndrome, Turner's Syndrome, Klinefelter's Syndrome, Edward's Syndrome, or Patau Syndrome.

17. The process of claim 14, wherein the genetic disorder is a single gene disorder.

18. The process of claim 15, wherein the genetic disorder causes cystic fibrosis, alpha and beta thalassaemia, haemophilia, muscular dystrophy, myotonic dystrophy, sickle cell disease, or Huntington disease.

19. The use of fetal CD45"ve cells present in maternal circulation for prenatal diagnosis.