Dr. Christian Jorgensen, head of the clinical unit for osteoarticular diseases, and his team from Lapeyronie University Hospital in Montpellier, France have a treatment for arthritis using the patient’s own [autologous] stem cells. Following the recovery of the stem cells, they were injected directly into the knee joint affected by arthritis. The experiment consisted of three groups receiving different dosages of the stem cells. Interestingly, each group experienced significant improvements in pain and mobility of the joint.
Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University have developed a novel way of labeling stem cells. Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) were engineered to uptake an iron-oxide nanoparticle called Ferumoxytol, which is picked up by means of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). These developments allow researchers to assess cell migration and integration with a variety of tissues, aiding in clinical investigation of stem cell therapies.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been found to aid in the treatment of autoimmune-related lung fibrosis. Interstitial pneumonia is the inflammation of alveoli, and affects patients with pulmonary fibrosis and other connective tissue diseases. Increased fibrosis is due to an overactive immune response--mainly cytotoxic T cells. Past therapies have tried to suppress all immune cells to lower pro-fibrotic molecules. Mesenchymal stem cells are able to selectively change the composition of T cells from cytotoxic to regulatory. Bone marrow derived stem cells interfered with overactive autoimmune processes, and promoted the repair of alveoli tissue.
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.
With a nod to the Bee Gees - Scientists from the University of Utah School of Medicine have successfully treated heart failure patients with autologous stem cells. Patients with stem cell therapy experienced 37% fewer cardiac events--including death and hospital admissions--than a placebo group.
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 muscular damage. Researchers at the Ottawa Hospital hope to change these statistics with an innovative therapy using injections of mesenchymal stem cells.
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.
Although we understand stem cell’s role in the body, the subtleties of extracellular communication remain a difficult system to analyze. An international group of researchers has recently discovered an intricate cell-to-cell communications system used by stem cells. The findings will help scientists develop new stem cell-based treatment options for peripheral artery disease, a condition which affects about 12 million people in the United States alone.
We all take articular cartilage for granted. It takes up a seemingly insignificant amount of space, and somehow absorbs the full pressure our body weight. Arthritis and articular injuries can cause chronic and crippling pain. One group of researchers is developing 3D printed cartilage by bioprinting with an ‘ink’ containing human cells. This technology may one day lead to printed implants, noses, ears, and knees.
University of California researchers are fighting a variety of rare pediatric diseases with stem cells. Funding provided by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine will address fatal conditions such as severe combined immunodeficiency, Tay-Sachs and Sandhoff disease, along with diseases ranging from cancer to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.