Pediatric neurologist James Carroll is heading a new clinical trial at the Georgia Health Sciences University that aims to use autologous stem cells to improve the quality of life for children with cerebral palsy, a condition that occurs prior to birth or in the early years of life and can severely impair movement, hearing, vision and cognitive skills.
Researchers at the Institute of Biotechnology in Helsinki, Finland have brought the medical community one step closer to growing teeth from stem cells with their discovery of a transcription factor that provides a basis to monitor and record the development of teeth. By tracking the phases of division, movement, and specification of the stem cells, researchers can better understand the stages and intricacies of tooth development and direct stem cells to differentiate into teeth.
Stem cell biologist Takanori Takebe of Yokohama City University in Japan successfully grew a small rudimentary liver while at the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology in Kobe, researcher Yoshiki Sasai and his colleagues directed “retinal precursor cells” to develop into an the optic cup of the eye. Takebe said “a more developed version of the liver could eventually be used for long-term organ replacement, as well as serving as a short-term graft for patients whose damaged native livers are expected to recover.” Both the liver research and the optical tissue regeneration are examples of how advances in directing cells to differentiate will accelerate the application of stem cell treatments.
The FDA has approved Phase II clinical trials for an autologous [utilizing the patient’s own stem cells] stem cell treatment for heart attacks – the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. The treatment involves the extraction of the stem cells from the patient, the in vitro [in the lab] expansion and differentiation of the stem cells and the transplantation of the stem cells back into the patient. This is a very significant clinical trial as we believe it represents the gold standard of emerging stem cell treatments – the use of autologous stem cells which are then expanded, differentiated and transplanted to address disease, trauma and injury. As we have reported recently, this same approach is being used to grow entire organs which are then successfully transplanted back into the patient. This approach facilitates the safe and successful application of stem cell therapies as it eliminates the chance of rejection and does away with the need for the patient to take a cocktail of immuno-suppression drugs.
Having one’s own stem cells readily available ensures access to these emerging therapies and cutting edge medical care. To learn about how you can bank your own valuable stem cells, visit www.stemsave.com or call 877-783-6728 (877-StemSave) today.
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UCLA School of Dentistry professor and leading cancer scientist Dr. Cun-Yu Wang and his research team have made a significant breakthrough in determining how to control thedifferentiation of stem cells into bone cells. The team was able to chemically manipulate certain gene-activating enzymes during the process of differentiation that ultimately influenced what type of cell they became.
Medical City Dallas Hospital is participating in a nationwide clinical study involving 13 medical centers from around the country to treat heart failure with adult stem cells. The study is being funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Timothy Kieffer, Professor of Cellular and Physiological Sciences at the University of British Columbia [UBC], in conjunction with scientists from the New Jersey-based BetaLogics, recently put out research demonstrating that human stem cell transplants can successfully restore insulin production and reverse diabetes in mice.
Researchers at San Raffaele Scientific Institute of Milanand University College London recently used a technique to implant genetically modified muscle cells into mice with muscular dystrophy. These mice were then able to perform more movement related actions, such as running longer on a treadmill, than mice who did not receive the treatment. “This technique may be useful in the future for treating limb-girdle muscular dystrophy and perhaps other forms of muscular dystrophy,” says leader of the study, Dr. Francesco Saverio Tedesco.
A team led by Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, of Columbia University has successfully grown a variety of bone structures utilizing a scaffold infused with stem cells.
The team has grown more than 50 healthy bones from stem cells. The team is experimenting with a variety of scaffolding materials, including bone stripped of all cellular material as well as silk scaffolds developed by Tufts University. The scaffolding with the stem cells are housed in a bioreactor which nourishes and directs the stem cells to regenerate and differentiate into newbone. As the new bone develops, the scaffolding material dissolves, resulting in new, fully-functioning bone.