Researchers at the Technion-Israel Institute have directed stem cells to differentiate into neurons with the potential to repair spinal damage that causes paralysis in the legs, known as paraplegia. In an animal model, subjects suffering injury to their spinal cords, causing them to lose all mobility and feeling in their hind limbs, were treated with human stem cells cultured to differentiate into support factors that promote neural growth and survival. Three weeks after administering the stem cell treatment, 42% of the subjects began either walking or showing significant improvements in bearing weight on their hind legs. Furthermore, over 75% of the subjects responded to stimulation in their hind legs. When compared to the placebo group that received no stem cells, the results were impressive and demonstrate the immense potential of utilizing stem cells to restore the neural connections in the spine following a traumatic injury.
Researchers at the Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine have investigated the impact of mesenchymal stem cell exosomes in the treatment of chronic non-healing wounds. These conditions affect 6.5 million people with diabetes and paraplegia in the Unites States alone, at an estimated treatment cost of $25 billion per year.