According to new research from the National Yang-Ming University, mesenchymal stem cells [MSCs] hold the ability to limit atherosclerotic plaque formation, thereby preventing the onset of harmful endothelial lesions. The research team, led by Shih-Chieh Hung, transplanted MSCs into animal models with atherosclerosis and observed significant reduction in plaque formation. They also saw an increase in blood vessel dilation, which prevents further plaque development, indicating good endothelial health.
According to new research from the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, hematopoietic stem cells [stem cells that produce blood] are directly regulated by megakaryocytes, the blood cells responsible for healing wounds. The researchers found that megakaryotes produce two growth factors; one that signals for hematopoietic stem cells to proliferate, and one that keeps them in an inactive state. This relationship controls the amount of blood being produced in the body.
Researchers from the Indiana University School of Medicine have developed a potential therapy for peripheral artery disease by transplanting autologous [the patient’s own] stem cells. In an animal model, the transplanted stem cells differentiated into new blood vessels, which then restored blood flow to damaged tissues in the body.
A research group led by Dr. Igor Slukvin, MD PHD, from University of Wisconsin-Madison has identified two transcription factors responsible for the differentiation of stem cells into numerous types of white and red blood cells. The team made use of messenger RNA to overexpress the two transcription factors, which allowed them to generate 30 million blood cells for every million stem cells, without the use of a virus or altering the genetic structure of the blood.
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 all around the world are working towards utilizing stem cells to grow replacement organs. While once thought to be a futuristic concept, it is now very real. Doctors and researchers have successfully transplanted lab grown bladders, blood vessels, tear ducts, arteries and windpipes. Now, research teams around the world are growing urethras, bile ducts, larynxes, bones, livers, kidneys, and even hearts.