A team of researchers at the University of Glasgow are utilizing 3D printers to create bone scaffolds that, when coated with a growth substance and stem cells, will continue to grow into bone in the implanted body. The aim of utilizing synthetically grown bone replacements is to create a readily available technology that can be used around the world, especially in places abundant with landmines. This is an important breakthrough for landmine blast survivors whose only option is usually amputation.
Researchers at the University of Maryland Medical Center are developing a stem cell treatment that can be utilized to treat hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) in children. By taking a new approach to make the right side of the heart stronger instead of replacing the damaged left side, researchers hope to engender a more permanent fix. The procedure would represent a significant advancement over current HLHS treatments; which include heart transplants and reconstructive procedures that only provide temporary relief.
A team of researchers from the Dental Institute at King’s College London has developed a natural approach to repair damaged teeth. Current methods include fillings and cement, which disrupt the normal mineral level of the tooth and can lead to infection. The new approach utilizes a collagen sponge infused with glycogen synthase kinase (GSK-3) to stimulate the stem cells in the pulp of the tooth to regenerate dentin and repair the tooth naturally. The collagen sponge degrades over time and is replaced by the naturally regenerated dentin. Lead author of the study, Professor Paul Sharpe, from King's College London states, "The simplicity of our approach makes it ideal as a clinical dental product for the natural treatment of large cavities, by providing both pulp protection and restoring dentine.”
The 21st Century Cures Act [aka: the Cures Act], was passed by the Senate [95-4] and the House of Representatives [392-26] and signed into law by the President in December 2016. In addition to increasing funding for medical research, the act creates an accelerated pathway for the development of regenerative treatments. The Act provides new guidelines to enable the FDA to fast track clinical trials and streamline the approval process for regenerative therapies.
A $225m investment from pharmaceutical giant Bayer catapults BlueRock Therapeutics onto the stem cell therapy stage. BlueRock will initially focus on cardiovascular and neurological treatments. A team led by Dr. Michael Laflamme and Dr. Gordon Keller will concentrate on regenerating heart muscle for patients who have suffered a heart attack, whilst a team led by Dr. Lorenz Studer and Dr. Viviane Tabar will concentrate on restoring dopamine-producing cells in patients with Parkinson's disease .
California’s Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) has announced the completion of patient enrollment in a study testing a stem cell derived therapy for retinitis pigmentosa (RP) patients. The treatment involves injecting human retinal progenitor cells into the damaged area of the retina to improve vision. These progenitor cells could either replace the damaged photoreceptors in the eye, or prevent them from being destroyed.
The Regenerative Medicine Foundation presents the 12th annual World Stem Cell Summit (WSCS) in West Palm Beach, Florida. The WSCS is the largest interdisciplinary stem cell meeting, uniting researchers, funders, and patients from around the world to share the latest medical breakthroughs and discoveries. Embedded within the WSCS is the RegMed Capital Conference, bringing together scientific innovators and investors interested in regenerative medicine and related technologies. The events are broadcasting live from December 6th to December 9th at worlstemcellsummit.com.
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.
Neurobiologists are utilizing dental stem cells from the pulp of baby teeth to study Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Dental stem cells are very plastic stem cells [they can be differentiated into many types of tissue] derived from the neural crest during early embryonic development.
Professor Paul Mozdziak and his team at North Carolina State University are growing turkey breast meat from stem cells. By manipulating stem cells into muscle fibers and cultivating them in a “warm broth” of amino acids and glucose, the cells are able to grow into turkey meat. The stem cells are activated to produce protein and fat cells, which add flavor and succulence to the meat, making it very similar to traditional meat.