Researchers at Georgia Tech are investigating the efficacy of a stem cell infused hydrogel to facilitate the healing of muscular injuries, particularly common in elderly individuals as well as muscular dystrophy patients. The stem cells found in the hydrogel are called muscle satellite cells, and younger individuals have plentiful stores of these cells to actively and efficiently repair muscle injuries as soon as they happen. However, as individuals age, stem cells become less plentiful and less active, hence, for older individuals, recovery from muscle injuries becomes more protracted and less certain. For individuals with muscular dystrophy, muscle cells are under constant stress. The research seeks to improve on the more common approach of injecting the stem cells directly into the site of damaged muscle, by using the hydrogel to protect the stem cells and ensure that as many of them as possible reach the affected site thereby improving the efficacy of the treatment.
Woojin Han, lead author of the study, believes that the approach will enhance the repair mechanism in injured older patients with hopes of also assisting individuals suffering from Duchenne muscular dystrophy – a debilitating muscle wasting disease.
Georgia Tech’s innovative research demonstrates the integral role stem cells are playing in cutting edge medical care options and underscores the importance of banking active and plentiful stem cells while an individual is young. By banking their own valuable stem cells, families can ensure they will have access to these emerging therapies in the near future. To learn more about banking stem cells, please visit StemSave or call 877-783- 6728 (877-StemSave) today.
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