Dr. Michael Helmrath, MD and Jim Wells, PhD of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center announced a significant advance in the differentiation of pluripotent stem cells into intestinal tissue with functional nerves. This milestone will enable the use of the cultured intestinal tissue to be used, in the short term, for drug testing and, in the longer term, for the development of regenerative treatments to address a myriad of intestinal disorders such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Intestinal Cancers and Hirschsprung’s disease.
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.
Researchers from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Centre have successfully grown functional human intestinal tissues by utilizing stem cells. After stimulating the stem cells with a “molecular cocktail” of chemicals and growth factors, the team observed as the cells developed into the mucosal lining and muscle layers, while exhibiting digestive functions such as nutrient uptake and responding to molecular signals.
Topics: Gastrointestinal cancer, stemsaveblog, ulcerative colitis, Debilitating Diseases, Stemcells, Crohn's Disease, Thanksgiving, autologousstemcells, intestinal tissue, small intestine, Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Researchers at MIT and Brigham and Women’s Hospital have developed a method of growing unlimited quantities of intestinal stem cells thus enabling them to better understand intestinal diseases and advance the development of more personalized and effective treatment options.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a group of inflammatory conditions of the colon and small intestine. The major types of IDB are Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis. In the US, approximately 1 million people suffer from diseases that fall under the category of IBD. Treatments for this disease ordinarily include steroids and immune-suppressors. However, researchers at Wake Forest have recently discovered a population of stem cells that may be able to treat IBD without the use of either steroids or immune-suppressors.
A recent story in the New York Times tells the story of a young infant who was born three months premature with a disorder that causes their intestinal tissue to die. The condition can be fatal and for surviving infants, current treatments are limited and invasive. Dr. Grikscheit, a pediatric surgeon at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, is developing methods to grow intestinal tissue ‘in vivo’ [inside the body] to replace defective intestinal tissue and provide an opportunity for children afflicted with the condition to live a normal life. “We have a huge problem that if we solve it, it will change the future for a lot of children,” she said.