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.
Scientists at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Centre have induced adult stem cells to differentiate into small clusters of gastric tissue that replicate the functions of the human stomach. The lab-made structures, known as “mini-stomachs”, were created by replicating the chemical pathways of early stage stomach development of stem cells in a petri dish.
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 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.
Apceth, a leader in the development of stem cell treatments, has won approval for a Phase I/II multicenter clinical trial evaluating an autologous mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) therapy for gastrointestinal cancer. The treatment involves the utilization of the patient’s own stem cells to combat and destroy cancerous cells and is designed to enable highly localized treatments.