Researchers from Harvard University have developed a new growth medium which facilitates the transfer of intact stem cell sheets. Stem cell transplantation is most effective as a coherent surface, rather than a matrix of freely floating cells. Previous attempts to release intact cell sheets have relied on thermal denaturation, which affect transplant efficiency. Slippery Liquid-Infused Porous Surfaces (SLIPS) circumvent this problem by reversibly inducing slipperiness in a cell culture.
A new advancement in stem cell differentiation has been developed by UNSW Australia researchers. The technique utilizes autologous stem cells treated with a series of growth factors to promote cell plasticity. The mixture is then inserted into damaged tissues, promoting growth and healing.
An Australian periodontist has pioneered a new 3D printing technique that regrows missing gum tissue and jaw bones. Traditionally, bone and tissue replacements are taken from other parts of the body such as the hip or femur. Dr. Ivanovki’s method uses a bioprinter to grow missing tissue from a patient's own cells. This 3D printing alternative is much less invasive than bone replacement, and dramatically reduces the risk of infection or rejection.
Biomedical engineers from the University of California, San Diego have created a stem cell based tissue that mimics the human liver. This model could be used for patient-specific drug screening and disease modeling. The complex micro-architecture of a liver utilized a hexagonal pattern of stem cells and human liver tissue. Autologous stem cells were taken from the patient’s own skin cells to act as supporting cells. Because the method used 3D printing, the entire structure—a 3 × 3 millimeter square, 200 micrometers thick—takes just seconds to print on demand.
Scientists from the Institut Pasteur have developed a novel therapeutic approach to sepsis that utilizes mesenchymal stem cell transplantation to restore muscle capacity. Sepsis is a systemic inflammatory response to severe infection, impairing metabolic function across all organ systems--affecting some 28 million people and claiming 8 million victims worldwide each year. Septic shock can lead to permanent neurological and musculatory damage. Mesenchymal stem cells can be easily cultured in the laboratory and are known for their immunomodulatory properties, which makes them an excellent option for cell therapy transplants that aim to repair degenerative or traumatic lesions.
A group of international scientists led by Dr. Macchiarini, professor of regenerative medicine at Karolinska Institute, has successfully engineered diaphragm tissue in animal models using a mixture of stem cells and 3D scaffolds. When the cells are transplanted, they demonstrate the same complex mechanical properties as diaphragm muscle. This offers hope for common birth defects and possible future heart muscle repairs.
The therapeutic efficacy of mesenchymal stem cell therapy has been extensively demonstrated and studied, leading to promising successes. Current applications include: immunosuppression of T-cells, the regeneration of blood vessels, assisting in skin wound healing, and suppressing chronic airway inflammation in asthma cases. However, when MSCs are being prepared for therapeutic application, they are often cultured in fetal bovine serum—which may result in unknown biochemical effects, which can lead to inconsistent outcomes. Now, a team of researchers from Singapore has developed a serum-free cell culture, which supports cellular growth, enhances consistency and increases the potential for greater efficacy in mesenchymal stem cell therapy.
Researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have developed a new, more precise way to control the differentiation of stem cells into bone cells.
Sichuan Rivotek Co has printed 3D blood vessels with stem cell-based bio-ink. Blood vessels are ubiquitous in all living organisms; their creation, via bio-ink and 3D printing could portend widespread application across all fields of regenerative medicine. As 3D printing progresses, more patient specific parts and even organ systems may be developed. Earlier modes of 3D printing that have used titanium instead of bio-inks have created surgically implanted jawbones and rib cages in experimental settings, providing valuable information to guide future development.
RoosterBio Inc has developed a Ready-to-Print (RTP) stem cell 3D bioprinter. This advancement in tissue engineering removes weeks from the current cellular bioprinting processes. This RTP provides significant quantities of high quality human mesenchymal stem cells (MCSs), which simplifies and accelerates the most complex and labor intensive aspects of bioprinting.