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The Planet Green Tree Service Difference

At Planet Green Tree Service, we are firm believers that trees make the world a better place. They provide us with verdant beauty, cool shade, and emergency shelter. They raise our home values, add personality to our neighborhoods, and provide us with clean air to breathe. When your home or business has well-maintained, healthy trees, everyone benefits. That's why we are so passionate about providing our customers with dependable tree services in the Lowcountry.

We believe that honest prices, state-of-the-art equipment, friendly arborists, and good old-fashioned hard work are what set us apart from our competition. With more than 33 years of service in South Carolina, you can rest easy knowing every member of the Planet Green team is committed to the following:

  • Conduct themselves in a professional manner
  • Provide you with exemplary tree care services
  • Arrive at your home or business on time and ready to work
  • Provide you with affordable service rates
  • Meet or exceed our industry standards
  • Utilize the utmost safety when removing or maintaining your trees or shrubs
  • Have full insurance to protect themselves and your home

Our customers mean a lot to us, which is why we strive to provide them the best, most helpful customer service in our industry. When you hire our company to perform a tree service in cityname, know that we take this responsibility seriously and will always treat your home like we would treat our own. At Planet Green Tree Service, you won't ever have to worry about sneaky hidden fees or outrageous pricing. We believe every homeowner and business owner should have access to affordable tree services, which is why we set our rates at reasonable levels. Our job is to protect your home, your trees, and also your wallet!

Service Areas

Tree And Stump Removal Charleston, SC

Whether your home has overgrown trees that need trimming or you have an unsightly stump that needs grinding, our team of tree experts is here to help. Curious what kind of tree care work we provide to homeowners in South Carolina?

Planet Green specializes in the following areas:

Tree Trimming in Charleston

Have you noticed your favorite tree growing in a strange shape? Are your trees or shrubs so overgrown that it's making your property and home look unkempt? Are the trees near your home weighed down by dangerous dead branches? If you answered yes to any of the above questions, it might be time to speak with a Planet Green Tree Service professional to find a solution.

Like anything that lives, trees respond to their environment. When trees are not properly maintained, they can cause a whole host of problems for the homeowner. Overgrowth doesn't just look bad - it can be a potential safety hazard and liability for your home. To prevent this from happening, it's crucial that your trees are trimmed and pruned regularly. Trimming your trees and shrubs gives your home a tidy, appealing look and facilitates healthy plant and tree growth.

Because every tree and shrub is different, you must approach tree trimming with a plan. Before you start hacking at your trees with a machete, be sure to contact Planet Green Tree Service. Our team of expert arborists will come to your home and determine the best path to take for your tree trimming needs. We always take into account variables like the strengths, weaknesses, and species of your trees.

 Large Tree Removal Charleston, SC

Benefits of Tree Trimming in Charleston

For some folks, tree trimming seems like a minor detail in the grand scheme of homeownership. It can be a tedious job, but keeping your trees trimmed and well-maintained is more important than you might think. Below are just a few of the many benefits of keeping your trees and shrubs trimmed:

Tree Trimming in Charleston

Tree Health

Part of the Planet Green pruning and trimming process includes the removal of damaged, broken, dead, and diseased branches. When ignored, these dead or dying branches can cause harmful fungi to wreak havoc on the trees around your home or business. Removing these weakened branches helps prevent fungi and keeps your trees healthy. In addition, tree trimming also lets more sunlight and air circulation reach your trees, boosting overall health.

Safety

Safety

As longtime residents of South Carolina, we know how dangerous hurricanes and heavy storms can be. Strong winds from these natural occurrences can cause branches to fall or even be carried away with significant force. This is concerning for many homeowners, especially those who have trees lining their driveways, recreational areas, and walking paths. When you trust Planet Green with your trimming needs, you are actually doing your part to "storm proof" your home from hazardous tree-related accidents. If you have low-hanging branches close to your roof or business, pruning these trees can provide more safety and overhead clearance. That way, don't have an anxiety attack every time a storm rolls through your neighborhood.

Aesthetics

Aesthetics

Nobody likes the look of an overgrown, disheveled tree. Tree trimming improves the general appearance of your tree and makes your whole yard and home look better. Tree trimming also prevents your trees from growing weak branches and crotches and helps stop branches from intertwining with one another.

Developmental Tree Trimming

Developmental Tree Trimming

Pruning younger trees is key to protecting them as they age. This vital tree service in Charleston keeps young trees aesthetically appealing and promotes proper structural integrity and optimal branch structure. In addition, as your home's landscape matures, taking the time to trim young trees reduces the chance of expensive problems like tree failure.

 Local Tree Service Charleston, SC

Types of Tree Trimming

Not all tree trimming services from Planet Green Tree Service are the same. Our experts specialize in a number of different tree trimming services to ensure you are getting the right kind of trim for the appropriate situation. Because even the smallest mistake can permanently affect your tree's health, we approach every tree trimming job with surgeon-like precision. That way, you know your trees are in capable, responsible hands.

Crown Reduction

Crown Reduction

When your trees age without the proper kind of care, they can develop too many branches on their interior. Trees like this give great shade, but too much is not a good sign. That's where crown reduction trimming comes in. By reducing the density of your tree's crown, our tree care experts improve its growth rate and health. Crown density reduction also promotes a longer lifespan and a more beautiful appearance.

Deadwooding

Deadwooding

As the name implies, deadwooding involves the trimming of dead wood from your trees. Often required in urban and suburban areas, deadwooding a tree makes it look more attractive and livelier, while maintaining the health of your tree's trunk by removing rotted branches. This process also makes it safer for kids and other people who walk underneath or near your tree that may be harmed by rotting branches that fall. Other tree trimming services that Planet Green offers include: hazardous tree assessments, shrub trimming, pruning, cabling, bracing, and corrective trimming.

Stump Removal in Charleston

For most property owners, removing a tree can seem like a major project. While that notion certainly isn't wrong, tree removal is more straightforward and often easier than trying to remove an unsightly stump from your yard. Have you ever wondered why you see so many yards with stumps dotted around the land? It's because they're very difficult to remove. That is why Planet Green Tree Service has been offering stump removal services in South Carolina for more than 33 years. Our skilled stump removal experts bring a wealth of knowledge and cutting-edge tools to every stump removal project they tackle.

The fact of the matter is this: trying to remove a stump on your own is an incredible undertaking. Going the "DIY" route can take weeks to complete, even if you spend an hour or two every day. There's also the issue of operating heavy machinery (which costs time and money to rent) and even light fires to expedite the process, which is dangerous. For these reasons alone, we always recommend that you bring in a professional to remove your tree stump safely and effectively.

 Tree Service Charleston, SC

Benefits of Stump Removal in Charleston

Better Looking Yard

Better Looking Yard

If you are a homeowner that loves sculpted hedges, beautiful landscaping, and a tidy law, removing old tree stumps will feel like a huge weight off of your chest. Stump removal not only gives your home more curb appeal, it can actually raise the value of your home. This is particularly pertinent if you are thinking about listing your home for sale in the near future.

More Space

More Space

If your yard is small, even one stump can reduce the amount of space you have in your yard. If you spend a lot of time playing sports or just enjoying your yard space, stump removal is a huge help. After all, nobody wants to toss a football around if there are a bunch of old stumps that you must avoid. Stumps also take up considerable space below ground, with their complicated root systems. Stump removal will give you and your family more room to plant flowers, grow vegetables, install a water feature, and much more.

Eliminate Unwanted Growth

Eliminate Unwanted Growth

When you leave a tree stump in your yard, you could be setting yourself up for unwanted tree growth. This kind of new growth often results in clusters of small trees popping up around the base of the stump. This problem isn't just unsightly; it can be harmful to any plants near the stump because the new trees will suck up all the water and nutrients out of your soil.

Pest Prevention

Pest Prevention

Tree stumps are notorious for harboring all sorts of pests that can damage your hard and cause expensive problems in your home. We're talking wood borers, ants, termites, and beetles. If you want to do away with these pests and protect your home, the best course of action is to contact Planet Green Tree Service for a quote on our professional tree removal services.

 Tree Removal Charleston, SC

Reduce Headaches

Sure, you could take the time to do your research on how to remove a stump. You could go to Home Depot, rent a high-powered stump grinder, and risk your health trying to operate it without training. You could spend every winking moment of your free time trying to grind the stump down so you can remove it from your yard. But why go through all that trouble when a trustworthy, experienced stump removal company like Planet Green Tree Service is only a phone call away?

Our team of stump removal professionals uses state-of-the-art tools designed to keep your property damage-free during the removal process. We will turn your yard into a beautiful blank slate, so you can focus on enjoying your stump-free while we haul away all the debris.

 Tree Pruning Charleston, SC

Your Premier Tree Service Company in South Carolina

With 33 years of experience, it's no wonder why so many South Carolina locals choose Planet Green Tree Service for tree trimming and stump removal in their city. Clients love us because we believe in exceeding your expectations, no matter how large or small a job is.

  • Conduct themselves in a professional manner
  • Provide you with exemplary tree care services
  • Arrive at your home or business on time and ready to work
  • Provide you with affordable service rates

Contact our office to learn more about our tree services in South Carolina or to schedule your free quote today!

Latest News in Charleston, SC

‘Flying blind’: Some COVID-19 monitoring not done in Charleston, other parts of SC

One way the state monitors community transmission of COVID-19 has not been done in Charleston and some other areas of South Carolina for more than two months.At least one scientist who tracks COVID-19 locally said they are ’flying blind” without widespread testing and wastewater surveillance to look for the virus and provide a key indicator of how much is circulating. The Charleston area may actually be in the midst of another surge based on modeling of what data is available, said Dr. Michael Sweat of Medical University o...

One way the state monitors community transmission of COVID-19 has not been done in Charleston and some other areas of South Carolina for more than two months.

At least one scientist who tracks COVID-19 locally said they are ’flying blind” without widespread testing and wastewater surveillance to look for the virus and provide a key indicator of how much is circulating. The Charleston area may actually be in the midst of another surge based on modeling of what data is available, said Dr. Michael Sweat of Medical University of South Carolina. A Clemson University scientist is urging caution as well.

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control said it is working to take over wastewater surveillance testing for the virus from a lab at the University of South Carolina, which has been reporting those results to the National Wastewater Surveillance System at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“It has been some time, I think, since USC submitted samples to the CDC for reporting out,” Dr. Linda Bell, the state epidemiologist, acknowledged.

A spokesman for USC did not return calls seeking comment.

Wastewater surveillance can pick up trends in virus levels shed in human waste from people who may not have symptoms yet four to six days before it is likely to be picked up by clinical testing, so it can provide an early warning of outbreaks, according to the CDC. It is meant as a complement to other surveillance, but CDC Director Rochelle Walensky praised the testing this year for providing an early signal of outbreaks beginning in the Northeast.

Wastewater treatment plants regularly pull samples for other testing, so it is a matter of taking part of that sample and shipping it off for testing. The labs carefully handle and filter the samples to get something that can be subjected to the same diagnostic testing as patients, said Dr. Delphine Dean, director of the Clemson Research and Education in Disease Diagnosis and Intervention (REDDI) Lab. Bell said it is a recent addition to surveillance but it has value.

“The concept, that wastewater surveillance can be a big benefit to early detection of transmission in a community that does not rely on somebody having to to go a healthcare facility to be tested, it does have really significant attributes in that way,” she said.

According to the CDC’s data, Charleston has not had its wastewater checked for COVID-19 since at least April 7. The same goes for Darlington and Lexington counties, while Richland, Horry, Georgetown and some other areas of the state have not been monitored since around mid-May.

In almost every case, the virus levels were rising when last checked. The only current data is coming from monitoring done at Clemson for Anderson, Greenville, Greenwood and Pickens counties. There, “it is kind of steadily increasing week to week,” Dean said. It is not the explosion of cases seen in some previous surges, with the delta and early omicron variants, but it is rising, she said.

That may also be true for the Charleston area, said Sweat, director of the MUSC COVID-19 Epidemiology Intelligence Project. In its monitoring of Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties, cases per day per 100,000 population increased 10 percent this past week, from 31 to 34, Sweat said.

Recent modeling by Johns Hopkins University and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation suggest that only about 10 percent of actual COVID-19 cases are being picked up by testing due in part to a large amount of home tests. Even using a conservative sixfold multiplier would put the actual cases in the community at 204 per 100,000, or about where cases were during the onslaught of the delta variant last fall, Sweat said.

“We’re in a surge, it’s pretty obvious,” he said. “I think there is a lot of transmission, and it is continuing to go up. Because of vaccination and prior infection, we’re not seeing the same numbers hospitalized and dying” due to better protection against severe disease. That is validated by internal numbers: MUSC closely tracks its own staff who come down with COVID-19 and those numbers are approaching what they were during the delta surge, Sweat said.

Wastewater surveillance would provide a better window into how much virus is actually circulating in the community, he said.

“Having wastewater would be really valuable; there is consensus in the field about that,” Sweat said. When the state stopped widespread testing in favor of home tests, “the value of the case reporting diminished because we were getting vast undercounts. That kind of left us in that flying-blind mode,” he said. Wastewater surveillance for the virus was supposed to help alleviate that, but the area is without it, Sweat said.

“We need it,” he said. “I think it would be valuable to see that.”

It is one reason DHEC is trying to do the testing itself. After meetings over the past week, the DHEC Public Health Laboratory is now working to validate its testing as it prepares to take over the wastewater surveillance, the agency said in a statement to the Post and Courier. That process may continue all summer, DHEC Media Relations Director Ron Aiken said.

But even without it, the state is reporting many other good metrics, such as cases per 100,000 population and hospitalizations, that allow people to know what is happening with COVID-19 in their communities, Bell said.

“We do encourage people to continue to look at the traditional surveillance systems,” Bell said.

U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, in a White House COVID-19 briefing on June 9, also encouraged people to maintain vigilance. “We are not done with the pandemic,” he said. “The virus is still here.”

Clemson was monitoring virus levels in its wastewater on campus and also closely tracking how many people tested positive on campus so it could validate how valuable the wastewater data was in predicting infections, Dean said.

“It allowed us to build pretty good estimates on how the wastewater relates to total case counts,” she said. Its data allows Dean to estimate that 1-1.5 percent of the population is infected in the areas they monitor. It translates into an elevated level of risk, Dean said.

“That means if you are going to be in an indoor setting with a larger group of people, you’re pretty likely to have someone in there who has COVID, so you should take precautions,” she said.

Golfbreaks by PGA TOUR expanding operations in Charleston County

COLUMBIA, S.C. – ...

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Golfbreaks by PGA TOUR (Golfbreaks), a leading, worldwide golf vacation specialist, today announced plans to expand operations in Charleston County. The company’s expansion will create 32 new jobs in the next two years.

Founded in 1998 in the United Kingdom, Golfbreaks specializes in organizing golf trips throughout the United States (U.S.) and around the world. As the ‘Official Golf Vacation Partner’ of the PGA TOUR, the company offers golfers a top-class, hassle-free service by arranging tee times, accommodations, ground transportation, tournament tickets and much more.

Located at 474 Wando Park Blvd. in Mount Pleasant since 2016, Golfbreaks’ Charleston County operation serves as its North American office and was recruited through the state’s Landing Pad program. The company’s expansion will allow Golfbreaks to increase its service volume to U.S. and Canadian golfers who take trips domestically and overseas.

Individuals interested in joining the Golfbreaks team should visit the company’s careers page or email resumes to the company.

QUOTES

“With minimal travel restrictions now in place and a lot of pent-up demand, Golfbreaks is growing rapidly. If you like golf and enjoy delivering unforgettable memories to fellow travelers, then a career at Golfbreaks may be perfect for you. Our enthusiastic and vibrant team in Mount Pleasant is on a very exciting journey with our partners at the PGA TOUR.” -Golfbreaks by PGA TOUR CEO Daniel Grave

“South Carolina’s golf industry has seen significant growth in recent years, and today’s announcement by Golfbreaks shows that this momentum is not slowing down. I congratulate Golfbreaks on their expansion and look forward to their continued growth in South Carolina.” -Gov. Henry McMaster

“Golfbreaks’ expansion in Charleston County is a hole-in-one for our state’s golfing industry and the local community. A worldwide leader in their field, we look forward to many more years of a successful partnership with Golfbreaks.” -Secretary of Commerce Harry M. Lightsey III

“We are thrilled with Golfbreaks’ decision to invest further in our community and create 32 new jobs for our citizens. Charleston County is a natural fit as we have a passion for golf and more importantly, we have a desire to foster business growth.” -Charleston County Council Chairman Teddie Pryor

Charleston Seeks New Solution to Unsold Farmers Market Food

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Vendors at Charleston’s city-run farmers markets used to be able to donate unsold food and produce to a nonprofit that distributed it to those in need.But after the markets returned from a COVID-19 hiatus, the organization has lost too much manpower both in volunteers and staff to continue providing the service.City leaders are trying to find new options to keep thousands of pounds of food from the Marion Square and West Ashley markets from going to waste.“Just in 2019 I believe ...

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Vendors at Charleston’s city-run farmers markets used to be able to donate unsold food and produce to a nonprofit that distributed it to those in need.

But after the markets returned from a COVID-19 hiatus, the organization has lost too much manpower both in volunteers and staff to continue providing the service.

City leaders are trying to find new options to keep thousands of pounds of food from the Marion Square and West Ashley markets from going to waste.

“Just in 2019 I believe the amount of food collected was between 4(thousand) to 6,000 pounds from Marion Square alone,” said Charleston Farmers Market Manager Harrison Chapman. “It makes a huge impact.”

Over the ten years that Chapman has served in his role the collection service has been available to vendors. A group of about ten to fifteen volunteers across the two markets would give out crates about 30 to 45 minutes before closing. Any produce that was still in good condition but too old to make it to the next week’s market would get donated.

It was then distributed to senior homes, the Lowcountry Food Bank and other similar organizations.

Chapman said he is in talks with the previous provider as well as other nonprofits to find ways to provide the collection service but so far has not been able to find a group with enough capacity.

Charleston Director of Sustainability Katie McKain is working on another solution. In April, her office applied for a grant to pay the city to set up a compost service at the farmers markets. The city will find out by the end of July if the funding is approved.

“It takes the pressure off vendors to take home their food scraps if they don’t have a way to repurpose them,” she said. “When food gets put in a landfill it gets trapped and without air to help it decompose naturally, it creates methane.”

McKain said she is still determining whether the program would work best with a series of bins for anyone to use on site or by smaller bins provided to each vendor.

More open collection spots would probably need to be accompanied by paid staff to educate the public on what items can properly be disposed of in the bins, she said.

If awarded the funding, the city would get the collection service up and running by the fall, she said.

The city is currently operating a pilot compost program for residents. Those who participate take an online course about composting and when approved, receive an access code for two bins set up in local parks. McKain hopes the program will receive permanent funding in next year’s budget.

In the meantime, Chapman is making an open call for volunteers and nonprofits interested in helping the market. He can be reached at farmersmarket@charleston-sc.gov.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

High turnout rates during first year of early voting in South Carolina

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Just six days before the primary election day, Charleston and Berkeley County have some of the highest turnout numbers in the state during the first year of early voting.In both counties, people were flooding in and out casting their votes by the minute. Hanahan Library is one of three polling locations in Berkeley County that’s seeing a steady increase in voters day by day.“Berkeley County is getting good percentage coming out early,” Doreen Thompson, one of the polling managers at H...

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Just six days before the primary election day, Charleston and Berkeley County have some of the highest turnout numbers in the state during the first year of early voting.

In both counties, people were flooding in and out casting their votes by the minute. Hanahan Library is one of three polling locations in Berkeley County that’s seeing a steady increase in voters day by day.

“Berkeley County is getting good percentage coming out early,” Doreen Thompson, one of the polling managers at Hanahan Library, said. “I can’t say overall how the percentage is, but for this area that we’re working right now, we’re getting fairly well.”

Records show that around 3 million people were registered to vote in 2020, but only about 22% of those people voted.

Isaac Cramer, the director of the Charleston County Board of Elections, is one of the main people in charge of making this happen.

“With our equipment and our poll managers and our training and our recruitment, we’re expecting a high turnout,” Cramer said. “Reality will probably be about that 20% number, but we are expecting a high turnout if that happens, so voters don’t have a long wait as they head into the polls.”

As of now, Charleston County has the fourth-highest number of early voters in the state. In 2018, only 1,700 people cast their votes in the first 30 days using in-person absentee voting. This year, the numbers have doubled to 3,600 in the first six days using early voting.

“Our intent with every election is to find access for every voter,” Cramer said. “So, Charleston, we’ve always led the state in ballots casts ahead of election day. We were actually the model for this legislation with the off-site early voting locations, but with the tight window of time between legislation passing and early voting starting, we weren’t able to expand to multiple locations across the county. But in November, we will have seven locations for early voting. So, we do anticipate this county to lead the state in early voting as we have had in the past.”

Cramer says that if you have not voted already, please visit scvotes.gov to find your polling location. He says he wants you to be best prepared on June 14.

Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Restoring vision by recharging cells' batteries

In May, an interdisciplinary MUSC research team won an inaugural Blue Sky Award, which provided $100,000 in funding for its project to restore vision in patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) by recharging the eye cells’ batteries. The Blue Sky Award was created to encourage high-risk, high-reward research that has the potential to make a profound impact on patient care but is unlikely to attract traditional funding due to the difficulties of the projects.The team is led by ...

In May, an interdisciplinary MUSC research team won an inaugural Blue Sky Award, which provided $100,000 in funding for its project to restore vision in patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) by recharging the eye cells’ batteries. The Blue Sky Award was created to encourage high-risk, high-reward research that has the potential to make a profound impact on patient care but is unlikely to attract traditional funding due to the difficulties of the projects.

The team is led by Baerbel Rohrer, Ph.D., of the College of Medicine, and Andrew Jakymiw, Ph.D., of the College of Dental Medicine, and included their graduate students Kyrie Wilson and Charles Holjencin. Rohrer is the Endowed Chair of Gene and Pharmaceutical Treatment of Retinal Degenerative Disease. Jakymiw is an expert in developing cell-penetrating peptides for drug delivery.

Together, they intend to tackle a disease that affects more than 10 million Americans: AMD. The disease causes vision to worsen slowly and eventually leads to blindness. Current therapies are inadequate, as they can only lessen the symptoms and aim, at best, to postpone the loss of vision. Existing therapies also require patients to return again and again for treatment.

Team members weren’t satisfied with just slowing down the disease. They wanted to develop a curative therapy that could protect and even restore vision.

“We knew that if we could treat the disease at the root cause, and not just the symptoms, that would be a huge step forward in regenerative medicine,” said Wilson.

At its root, AMD is caused by an insufficient supply of energy to eye cells.

“Every single activity of a cell requires energy,” said Rohrer. “Once you lose that energy, you will lose proper function of the cells. That will eventually lead to disease and vision loss.”

Mitochondria are the batteries that supply energy to cells, and they have their own DNA – mitochondrial DNA or mtDNA – to help them to do that. When their DNA becomes damaged, mitochondria cease to function properly and cannot provide cells with the energy they need.

Over time or because of stress, errors can be introduced into mtDNA as it copies itself. Rohrer likens the process to the game of “telephone.” In the game, a person whispers a word into the ear of another person. That person then whispers the word into the ear of the next person and so on down the line.

“Whatever ends up after five people is probably not the word that you picked to start with,” said Rohrer. “And it’s pretty much the same thing with copying mtDNA.”

Instead of trying to target and fix many copy errors, Rohrer and Wilson wondered whether a better approach would be to prevent the mistakes in the first place. They could do so by providing the mitochondria a new blueprint, or template, for copying their DNA, essentially “resetting” the word in the telephone game.

“You need a new template,” said Wilson. “You need to go back and have the perfect words again and know what you’re trying to say.”

Rohrer and Wilson realized that they would need a vehicle to deliver the template to the mitochondria. It would have to be able to dodge the body’s immune system and be accepted by the mitochondria. They reached out to Jakymiw, who had expertise with small nucleic acid-based drug delivery.

“We had actually never delivered anything that large to that point,” said Jakymiw. “I mean we’re talking about like 16 kilobases, which is a pretty big molecule.”

Although the two laboratories had had initial discussions, it was the announcement of the Blue Sky Award that solidified the collaboration and jump started the project.

“Some outcomes of the preliminary work that has evolved over the last few months suggest that we can potentially deliver this large amount of DNA and target it efficiently enough to restore vision for individuals affected by AMD,” continued Jakymiw.

Jakymiw and Holjencin decorate the surface of the mtDNA with small proteins that carry instructions for the cells and mitochondria on how to take up this newly formed nanoparticle.

“Essentially, we have a delivery mechanism that carries its own instructions for cell delivery,” said Holjencin, who is creating the nanoparticles being used in the project.

“You can also design the small proteins so that they can recognize a particular ‘zip code’ and deliver the cargo to that particular site within the cell,” said Jakymiw.

These small proteins also provide a potential “invisibility cloak” to protect the nanoparticles from the body’s immune system.

To date, the team has shown that the small proteins can package the mtDNA within nanoparticles and deploy it to the struggling mitochondria. They have also shown that it persists there for at least four weeks. In previous studies, mtDNA disappeared after just 48 hours.

“We will eventually end up looking for the presence of mtDNA at probably eight weeks, maybe even out to 16 weeks,” said Wilson.

“And obviously what we would want for humans is that that this translates into many years as opposed to having to repeat these treatments on a regular basis,” said Rohrer.

The hope is that introducing the template would set off a series of events that could lead to restored vision. The mitochondria might share the template with its neighbors, which could, likewise, pass it on. As the quality of mtDNA improves in more and more mitochondria, they could again supply sufficient energy to eye cells, restoring vision.

“This new approach is like a quantum leap. If this were to work, it would just significantly change not just the trajectory of my lab but the trajectory of treatment for AMD,” said Rohrer.

The collaborative biorepository project between MUSC and SCSU is expanding with the hopes of reaching more medically underserved communities.

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