German scientists at the University of Bielefeld and Dresden University of technology have produced neurons from inferior turbinate stem cells [ITSC], a cell type that is typically discarded during sinus surgery, as a potential treatment for Parkinson’s disease. After transplanting the ITSCs into an animal model suffering from Parkinson’s, the researchers observed full functional restoration and significant behavioral recovery in the subjects without any adverse side effects.
Scientists from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke have identified neural stem cells as important regulators of the olfactory bulb and its connections to the brain. The researchers discovered that a constant influx of stem cells is required for the olfactory system to function properly. The removal of stem cells causes a widespread disruption of signals sent to the brain, resulting in sensory deprivation.
A research team led by Doctor Alexander Seifalian at University College London is currently creating custom lab-grown organs and body parts for patients utilizing autologous [the patient’s own] stem cells. The scientists have engineered a polymer material that they mold into the shape of an organ in need, infuse with the patient’s stem cells, and then transplant back onto the patient’s body.
Researchers all around the world are working towards utilizing stem cells to grow replacement organs. While once thought to be a futuristic concept, it is now very real. Doctors and researchers have successfully transplanted lab grown bladders, blood vessels, tear ducts, arteries and windpipes. Now, research teams around the world are growing urethras, bile ducts, larynxes, bones, livers, kidneys, and even hearts.