Dr. Leo Behie, of the University of Calgary, in collaboration with Dr. António Salgado and Dr. Nuno Sousa of Portugal, has developed a novel stem cell based method to treat Parkinson’s disease. The new strategy utilizes autologous [the patient’s own] mesenchymal stem cells [MSCs] thereby eliminating the need for a donor and immunosuppressant drugs that compromise the body’s immune system.
Researchers, led by Dr. Markus Kuehn of the University of Iowa, are developing a regenerative procedure utilizing stem cells to restore proper drainage for fluid-congested eyes at risk for glaucoma. The injection of stem cells into the eyes of mice with glaucoma led to the proliferation of cells within the trabecular meshwork, a patch of tissue in the eye that serves as a drain for the eyes to avoid fluid buildup.
Mesenchymal stem cells have been proven to act as enhancer agents of local and systemic effects of radiotherapy. This development could lead to effective use of radiotherapy in cancer treatment. José Mariano Ruiz de Almodóvar, lead author of this research explains, “MSCs have a huge potential for the treatment of cancer, given that they are capable of burying themselves in a tumor and, when preactivated or directly activated by in vivo radiation, release cytokines and tumor suppressor proteins which significantly improve the control mechanisms the ionizing radiation exerts on tumors.”
Researchers at the Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine have investigated the impact of mesenchymal stem cell exosomes in the treatment of chronic non-healing wounds. These conditions affect 6.5 million people with diabetes and paraplegia in the Unites States alone, at an estimated treatment cost of $25 billion per year.
Scientists at the University of Cambridge and University of Manchester are using stem cells to create study environments that closely resemble human tissue which they call “mini lungs.” These lungs are not designed to be transplanted, but offer a valuable biological use in evaluating new treatments and therapies.
The potential power of regenerative medicine is gaining prominence in the mainstream media. A recent report in the Wall Street Journal depicts a future where regenerative medicine would support the repair and regeneration of human body parts and tissues via stem cells, three-dimensional printing, and applied bioengineering strategies. The emerging therapies take advantage of the special characteristics of stem cells, that is, their role as the natural repair and maintenance cells of the body and their ability to regenerate and differentiate into a variety of cell types.
Researchers at Mass General Hospital have built a rat forelimb with functional muscular and
vascular tissue using progenitor stem cells. The approach may be useful in developing
replacement limbs for transplantation in primates. The team, led by Dr. Harald Ott, injected
muscle progenitor cells into a cell-free matrix that preserved nerves and primary vasculature;
two weeks later, analysis confirmed the presence of blood vessel walls within vascular cells and
aligned muscle cells within the muscle matrix.
New research from the Eye Program at the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors Regenerative Medicine Institute demonstrates how a single injection of adult human stem cells can preserve eyesight in an animal suffering from Age-Related Macular Degeneration [AMD] for the equivalent of 16 years. Upon injection, the stem cells began to recruit other healthy cells towards the retina to form a protective layer, which prevented further macular degeneration.
In a newly published article by the Wall Street Journal, a team of Columbia and Cornell researchers led by Dr. Jeremy Mao [a member of StemSave’s Scientific Advisory Council] has developed a potential method to treat patients with torn menisci. The method involves 3D-printing a biodegradable scaffold of the meniscus, infusing it with growth factors, and implanting it into the knee. Once in the patient’s body, the growth factors should attract autologous [the patient’s own] stem cells to generate a new, natural meniscus.
Bioengineers from the University of California, Berkeley, have utilized adult stem cells to create a network of pulsating heart cells encased in a silicon chip, effectively modeling cardiac tissue. To capture the dynamic structure and function of the heart, the scientists loaded the stem cells into a layered, 3-D scaffold to mimic the geometry of the organ and included channels on either side of the chip to act as blood vessels, thus replicating the organ’s natural exposure to nutrients and therapies.
Topics: Heart, cardiac stem cells, Heart Attack, regenerative therapies, disease-on-a-chip, blood vessels, heart disease, research, StemSave, banking your own stem cells, organs, regenerative medicine, stem cells