StemSave is once again sponsoring the International Conference on Dental and Craniofacial Stem Cells [ICDCSC]. This is the 3rd conference since the inaugural conference of 2012 and will be held on October 26-28 in Paris, France. The conference will be co-chaired by Dr. Jeremy Mao of Columbia University [StemSave’s Chief Scientific Advisor] and Dr. Michael Goldberg of University Paris Descartes. They will be joined by 30 internationally renowned speakers in a collegial and conducive atmosphere to catalyze the biology of stem cell research and translational advances towards therapeutics.
Harvard researchers stimulated stem cell growth and tissue regeneration using low-powered laser beams in rodent teeth. The scientists photoactivated a latent growth factor complex found within the cells themselves. The ability to stimulate latent stem cells would have a positive impact on the efficacy of emerging regenerative treatments. While the research was conducted on teeth, researchers plan to apply the technique to different tissues in the near future to assess its potential to regenerate bone, skin, muscle and for would healing.
Researchers in Japan successfully used dental pulp stem cells [DPSCs] in animal models to stimulate peripheral neural regrowth and ameliorate neural losses associated with autologous nerve grafts, which can lead to diminished function and decreased sensation. The dental pulp stem cells demonstrated regeneration of more myelinated axons than in the control group, which received autologous nerve grafts or collagen.
Ophthalmologists James L Funderburgh, Ph.D. and Fatima Syed-Picard, Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh have devised a method for treating corneal blindness by utilizing dental pulp stem cells. The researchers harvested the stem cells from molars discarded during routine extraction and induced the cells to differentiate into keratocytes [corneal cells]. They then seeded the cells onto a nanofiber scaffold, allowing them to grow into fully developed, functional corneas capable of restoring eyesight.
In a new pilot study at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in London, researchers will utilize stem cells to promote the healing of painful tendon injuries such as tennis elbow. Initial studies suggest that, upon transplantation, the stem cells release growth factors to the point of injury, which induce the growth of new tendon tissue while reducing scar tissue to recover movement and flexibility.
Today, stem cells are rightfully perceived as the future of regenerative medicine, set to bring the marvels of science fiction into reality. But in looking ahead at all of the promise that stem cells hold for the future, it becomes easy to miss the scientific advances made to date for the millions of people around the world suffering from disease, trauma, and injury. Thus, today marks Stem Cell Awareness Day: a global celebration of stem cell research coordinated to highlight the treatments and therapies currently in development to create personalized regenerative therapies for patients.
A team of scientists from the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and the Boston Children’s Hospital have developed a method to increase the survival rate, and therefore the effectiveness, of transplanted mesenchymal stem cells [MSCs]. In an animal model, Dr. Juan Melero-Martin and his team of researchers co-transplanted MSCs with blood vessel-forming cells, enabling the stem cells to survive longer in a patient to reach their full regenerative potential.
Researchers at the Wyss Institute and Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences have developed a self-shrinking gel that, when loaded with mesenchymal stem cells [MSCs], stimulates their ability to differentiate into teeth, bones, and organs in vivo [in the patient’s body]. The gel is designed to spontaneously compress at 37°C [the temperature of the human body], which places the physical pressure required to trigger the stem cells’ proliferative properties while inside the patient’s body.
Researchers at the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research have developed a method of utilizing autologous [the patient’s own] dental stem cells to regenerate damaged or decayed teeth. In an animal model, as well as human cells in vitro [in a lab], the scientists treated the damaged teeth with low-intensity lasers, which prompted the stem cells located in the dental pulp to differentiate and grow into new, healthy dentin tissue.
Doctors at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences have developed a novel stem cell therapy called “SealBio” to replace traditional root canal treatments. SealBio eliminates the need to clean, shape, and fill the tooth with artificial sealer cement by inducing the stem cells of the root to regenerate adult tissue as a natural biological seal. Over time, this technique can even restore the root canal back to health.