Although scarring helps open wounds heal, the fibrous tissues associated with internal scars (and with medical devices, like Pacemakers) can be detrimental to the function of vital organs like the heart. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania developed a “scar in a dish” using mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which helped them gain a better understanding of the roots of scar formation and fibrous stiffness. This work could support the developments of treatments that would replace scar tissues with normal tissue, improving function.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been previously shown to aid in the reformation of regular tissue and avoidance of scarring collagen tissue, but the mechanism of how the stem cells do this was previously unknown. The research, conducted by Dennis Discher, director of the new Physical Sciences in Oncology Center at Penn, and former graduate student P.C. Dave P. Dingal, was published in Nature Materials. “In all sorts of diseases and with most types of major injury,” Discher said, “the body responds by walling off the damage with a collagen-rich patch. This scar can often help in the short term but can also cause long-term dysfunction of a tissue or organ. We want to understand and control how cells respond to scars in order to better control scarring in many contexts.”
Beyond healing scars, the authors assert, these MSC-derived scar treatments could be applied to diseases that range from heart failure to cancer. As regenerative engineering progresses, we believe the best stem cells to use in emerging treatments will be the patient’s own [autologous stem cells] as this negates the need to find a suitable donor and eliminates the chances of rejection of the transplanted tissue. To learn more about banking your own valuable stem cells to insure your family’s future health, visit StemSave or call 877-783-6728 (877-StemSave) today.
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