Scientists at the University of Cambridge and University of Manchester are using stem cells to create study environments that closely resemble human tissue which they call “mini lungs.” These lungs are not designed to be transplanted, but offer a valuable biological use in evaluating new treatments and therapies.
New research from the Eye Program at the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors Regenerative Medicine Institute demonstrates how a single injection of adult human stem cells can preserve eyesight in an animal suffering from Age-Related Macular Degeneration [AMD] for the equivalent of 16 years. Upon injection, the stem cells began to recruit other healthy cells towards the retina to form a protective layer, which prevented further macular degeneration.
Recently published research from the Yale University Cancer Center has evaluated the effect of a stem cell’s surrounding area on whether or not the cell will grow or die. The scientists, led by Kailin R. Mesa, observed stem cells on a hair follicle using live microscopic imaging to determine that the environment in which the stem cell is located plays a critical role in the fate of that cell. Mesa’s team also observed that stem cells contain a feeding mechanism to rid the skin area of dead cells.
A recent clinical trial conducted at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, England, has successfully treated seven patients suffering from the genetic disorder Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome by utilizing autologous [the patient’s own] stem cells. The therapy was an example of translational genomics, in which doctors extract autologous stem cells, correct the faulty gene that causes Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome, and then implant the stem cells back into the patients to produce new, healthy cells.
Recently published research out of South Korea has presented a new method of differentiating mesenchymal stem cells [MSCs] into liver cells for autologous use in regenerative medicine. Geneticists found that the overexpression of two genes within MSCs, oct4 and sox2, resulted in the stem cells converting into fully functional hepatocytes, or liver cells, capable of producing urea and storing glycogen.
Topics: hepatocytes, liver cells, regenerate organs, Stemcells, stem cell differentiation, Liver disease, research, StemSave, mesenchymal stem cells, autologous stem cells, stem cells, biology, adult stem cells
Bioengineers from the University of California, Berkeley, have utilized adult stem cells to create a network of pulsating heart cells encased in a silicon chip, effectively modeling cardiac tissue. To capture the dynamic structure and function of the heart, the scientists loaded the stem cells into a layered, 3-D scaffold to mimic the geometry of the organ and included channels on either side of the chip to act as blood vessels, thus replicating the organ’s natural exposure to nutrients and therapies.
Topics: Heart, cardiac stem cells, Heart Attack, regenerative therapies, disease-on-a-chip, blood vessels, heart disease, research, StemSave, banking your own stem cells, organs, regenerative medicine, stem cells
In a newly published phase II clinical trial from the Asan Medical Center in Seoul, Korea, researchers observed full recovery from fistulas [abnormal connections between organs caused by the inflammation] in 75% of patients suffering from Crohn’s disease upon the injection of autologous [the patient’s own] stem cells. MSCs have the ability to regulate the patient’s immune system to reduce inflammation, resulting in the complete closure of the fistulas without recurrence.
Topics: large intestine, bank dental stem cells, Crohn's Disease, autologousstemcells, autoimmune disease, gastrointestinal disease, autoimmune attack, research, StemSave, mesenchymal stem cells, organs, stem cells, Fistulas
Recently published research from Monash University has demonstrated the effect of adult stem cells and the protein serelaxin in reversing the scarring on kidneys that typically lead to end-stage renal disease. While adult stem cells are moderately successful on their own, the scar reduction of serelaxin provided a better environment for them to help the kidney repair itself, providing significant protection from future damage.