In a new two year clinical trial conducted by the University of Miami, researchers will attempt to treat deep second degree burn victims with mesenchymal stem cells [MSCs] as a potential alternative to skin grafts. The team, led by Dr. Evangelos Badiavas, will first cover the wounds in protective dressing, and then inject the MSCs under the dressing and into the wounds to spur the regeneration of the inner and outer layers of skin.
According to a recent study conducted by scientists at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, stem cells may hold the key to replacing the body’s unwanted storage of white fat cells with calorie-burning brown fat cells. The researchers studied the stem cells that typically mature into white fat cells, and, after screening the effects of 1000 compounds on the cells, they found two that stimulate the stem cells to differentiate into brown fat cells instead.
In a recent clinical study conducted in Beijing, researchers are testing a treatment for patients suffering from systemic lupus erythematosus by administering autologous [the patient’s own] mesenchymal stem cells. The researchers aim to capitalize on the unique abilities of MSCs to not only differentiate into a multitude of different cell types, but to reduce the autoimmune attack in patients affected by lupus as well.
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.
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 at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia in Italy have recently developed a method for treating patients with the genetic skin disease Epidermolyisis Bullosa (EB). The process is an example of translational genomics, in which the researchers extract autologous (the patient’s own) stem cells, correct the defective gene that caused the EB, and then transplant the cells back into the patient.
Researchers at the University of Grenada have developed a method to grow skin with stem cells, which can be utilized to treat burn victims. The study used mesenchymal stem cells [MSC] recovered from Wharton’s jelly to create healthy skin regenerating epithelia.
- Burn Victim
Researchers at the University of Brighton are partnering with colleagues at the University’s School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences and other university departments to study ways to induce self-regenerating cells to combat burn injuries. They are using liver stem cells to study the process of regeneration; given the high regenerative capacity of liver cells.
Advances in regenerative medicine, spearheaded by AFIRM [Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine], are restoring function to wounded soldiers. A consortium of research centers is developing techniques to grow body parts, such as ears, bones, skin and genitals. AFIRM is directing 300 million dollars to develop a broad array of regenerative treatments that will impact treatment options for both wounded soldiers and the general population. Many of the treatments are now entering the clinical [human] testing phase with the prospect of growing organs and tissue ‘on demand’ utilizing the patient’s own stem cells on the horizon.