Researchers at Penn State University, led by Xiaojun Lance Lian, have developed a method to regenerate the surface of a human heart utilizing stem cells. Prior to this advance, researchers could only differentiate stem cells into the middle layer of the heart [myocardium]. By activating the Wnt pathway the researchers were able to direct the stem cells to become the outside layer of the heart [epicardium], bringing researchers one step closer to regenerating an entire heart wall.
The California Institute of Regenerative Medicine announced a $30 million initiative to advance stem cell therapies. The program is designed to facilitate research’s move from bench to bedside – accelerating clinical trials and laying the groundwork for FDA approval.
Harvard Stem Cell Institute scientists have a potential development to improve tumor treatments using oncolytic, cancer-killing, viruses. Khalid Shah and his team turned to mesenchymal stem cells [MSCs] to house the oncolytic viruses because they trigger a minimal immune response against the virus. The addition of a gel encompassing the MSCs keeps them alive longer to expedite the debulking, or removal, of the tumor. The investigators report that applying the gel-encapsulated MSCs to glioblastoma multiforme, the most common brain tumor in human adults, significantly improved survival in mice.
Researchers at the University of Texas have discovered a potential stem cell treatment for burn victims. After researchers analyzed tissue samples from severe burns, they observed ‘satellite cells’ that activated apoptosis [cell death] but, also activated stem cells that stimulated muscle regeneration. Such advances in the understanding of how stem cells interact with their environment will accelerate stem cell treatments for burn patients.
An Australian periodontist has pioneered a new 3D printing technique that regrows missing gum tissue and jaw bones. Traditionally, bone and tissue replacements are taken from other parts of the body such as the hip or femur. Dr. Ivanovki’s method uses a bioprinter to grow missing tissue from a patient's own cells. This 3D printing alternative is much less invasive than bone replacement, and dramatically reduces the risk of infection or rejection.
The American Academy of Pain Medicine has recognized mesenchymal stem cell [MSC] treatments as a viable method to block opioid-induced tolerance. The Academy cites a study done by the Cleveland Clinic in which the development of opioid tolerance was effectively prevented by either intravenous or intrathecal MSCs. Furthermore, established opioid tolerance was reversed when the timing of the transplants followed repeated morphine injections.
Researchers at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine have found that age has a profound effect on the efficacy of transplanted mesenchymal stem cell therapy. A series of previous studies had shown that stem cells could repair damage done to lungs caused by pulmonary fibrosis, but those studies relied on donor cells from relatively young animals. This study examined the differences in young and old stem cells, finding substantial differences in their biological utility.
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania school of Dental Medicine have elucidated the mechanism behind mesenchymal stem cell transplants in lupus patients, who typically suffer greater risk of osteoporosis. Prior work with stem cells has led to improvements in their condition, but until the current study, the process by which gains were made have been poorly understood.
Sichuan Rivotek Co has printed 3D blood vessels with stem cell-based bio-ink. Blood vessels are ubiquitous in all living organisms; their creation, via bio-ink and 3D printing could portend widespread application across all fields of regenerative medicine. As 3D printing progresses, more patient specific parts and even organ systems may be developed. Earlier modes of 3D printing that have used titanium instead of bio-inks have created surgically implanted jawbones and rib cages in experimental settings, providing valuable information to guide future development.
Recently published research out of South Korea has presented a new method of differentiating mesenchymal stem cells [MSCs] into liver cells for autologous use in regenerative medicine. Geneticists found that the overexpression of two genes within MSCs, oct4 and sox2, resulted in the stem cells converting into fully functional hepatocytes, or liver cells, capable of producing urea and storing glycogen.
Topics: hepatocytes, liver cells, regenerate organs, Stemcells, stem cell differentiation, Liver disease, research, StemSave, mesenchymal stem cells, autologous stem cells, stem cells, biology, adult stem cells