Physicians at the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System have developed a novel stem cell transplantation technique aimed at curing adults with sickle-cell anemia. Donor cells from a tissue-matched donor are transfused into the patient, producing healthy new blood cells and eliminating symptoms.
Purified silk strands provided the scaffolding for a matrix of rat salivary cell glands developed from stem cells, according to new research from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Salivary stem cells have historically been difficult to grow in culture while retaining their function. Silk was selected as the cell scaffolding because it is organic (biodegradable), flexible, porous – providing amply access to oxygen – and does not cause inflammation.