Researchers at South Korea’s Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology have developed a new scaffolding technique that speeds up stem cell differentiation for bone formation. Utilizing carbon nitride sheets infused with stem cells, the researchers were able to regenerate bone. The carbon nitride sheets possessed photocatalytic properties, which facilitated bone growth. This study marks an important advancement in treatments for bone fractures and periodontal disease.
Professor Lars Nielson and his team at the University of Queensland’s Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology are utilizing stem cells to develop a treatment for patients at risk for chemotherapy-induced neutropenia (CIN). Neutropenia is caused by the lack of white blood cells. By differentiating stem cells into white blood cells, the treatment reduces the ‘risk’ period of infection and fever following chemotherapy.
Dr. Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic [a member of StemSave’s Scientific Advisory Council] and her colleagues at Columbia University have created living jaw bone from stem cells paving the way for regenerative therapies in facial reconstruction. Using a CT scan to create a 3D image of each jaw, the team created a scaffold that, when infused with stem cells, formed new bone identical to the original.
Scientists from the University of Nottingham and Harvard University have developed a treatment that takes advantage of the unique regenerative characteristics of stem cells to enable teeth to heal themselves. The treatment represents an advancement over the current methods to treat severe cavities by eliminating the need for root canals. By stimulating the dental stem cells [mesenchymal stem cells] within the tooth, the growth of dentin, the bony material that makes up the majority of the tooth, is encouraged. This allows patients to regrow damaged teeth effectively.
University of California researchers are fighting a variety of rare pediatric diseases with stem cells. Funding provided by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine will address fatal conditions such as severe combined immunodeficiency, Tay-Sachs and Sandhoff disease, along with diseases ranging from cancer to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
A new method of stem cell harvesting was developed by a group of Australian researchers. The technique is less invasive than current methods and reduces unwanted side effects. Existing harvesting procedures are lengthy and require injections of growth factors to boost stem cell numbers. Growth factors can cause unpleasant side effects like bone pain and spleen enlargement for some patients while other patients don’t respond well impacting stem cell recovery.
Veterinary researchers have used stem cells to cure a cat of chronic gingivostomatitis (FCGS), a painful oral disease. The technique involved extracting autologous mesenchymal stem cells, processing and characterizing them, and intravenously injecting them into the cats to reduce inflammation and promote tissue regeneration.
As the world’s population grows and emerging economies continue to develop, our agricultural environment is changing. Meats are a valuable source of protein and nutritional requirements, but the current methods of producing meat are wildly inefficient—from both an economic and environmental standpoint. Several start-up companies are combatting this problem by using stem cells to produce meat products for human consumption.
Researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have developed a new, more precise way to control the differentiation of stem cells into bone cells.
A team of Italian researchers have injected autologous [the patient’s own] mesenchymal stem cells [MSCs] into patients suffering from digital ulcers (DU). The ulcers are brought about by systemic sclerosis (SSc), a connective tissue disease that progressively degrades blood vessels, causing havoc across multiple organ systems. DUs are slow to heal and are often unresponsive to therapies in individuals with SSc.