Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome Treatment Integrates Cardiac Stem Cells.

Initial trials of stem cell treatment for hypoplastic left heart syndrome have proven to be both safe and effective for children with the congenital defect.

Researchers from Okayama University have developed a method to treat the congenital heart defect known as hypoplastic left heart syndrome [HLHS] by utilizing a specialized cardiac stem cell.  In a Phase I clinical trial conducted on children suffering from HLHS, the scientists concluded that, because the young stem cells in children are more abundant and self-renewing than those in adults, intracoronary injection of stem cells is a safe and feasible approach to treating the condition. Continue reading

CRISPR Advances Genetic Disease Treatment with Stem Cells.

CRISPR may change the way scientists incorporate stem cells for translational genomics.

Scientists led by Dr. Craig Mello of The University of Massachusetts have developed a genetic tool – CRISPR [clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats] – to revolutionize the way stem cells are applied to treat genetic diseases, such as sickle cell or thalassemia.  CRISPR aims to expedite and improve upon the process of translational genomics, in which the patient’s stem cells are extracted, altered to repair the damaged gene, and then transplanted back to the patient. Continue reading

Stem Cells Repair Damage via “First Aid Kits”

Scientists found that neural stem cells deliver restorative materials to other cells through vesicle transport.

In a recently published study, a team of researchers from the University of Cambridge has shown that neural stem cells are able to communicate and alleviate damage in other cells by transferring vesicles filled with molecules that enable the cells to repair themselves.  The cellular “first aid kits” contain proteins and nucleic acids that stimulate gene activation and signaling pathways to help the injured target cells survive. Continue reading

Harnessing the Power of Stem Cells

Scientists have developed a method for increasing the survival rate, and therefore the effectiveness, of transplanted mesenchymal stem cells.

A team of scientists from the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and the Boston Children’s Hospital have developed a method to increase the survival rate, and therefore the effectiveness, of transplanted mesenchymal stem cells [MSCs]. In an animal model, Dr. Juan Melero-Martin and his team of researchers co-transplanted MSCs with blood vessel-forming cells, enabling the stem cells to survive longer in a patient to reach their full regenerative potential.

Continue reading

Stem Cells Make a ‘Dentin’ Tooth Decay.

Researchers have utilized low-intensity lasers to regenerate lost dentin in damaged teeth.

Researchers at the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research have developed a method of utilizing autologous [the patient’s own] dental stem cells to regenerate damaged or decayed teeth.  In an animal model, as well as human cells in vitro [in a lab], the scientists treated the damaged teeth with low-intensity lasers, which prompted the stem cells located in the dental pulp to differentiate and grow into new, healthy dentin tissue. Continue reading

Dental Stem Cells Differentiated into Brain-like Cells for Stroke Patients

Scientists have discovered the ability of dental pulp stem cells to grow into brain-like neurons.

Researchers from the University of Adelaide, led by Dr. Kylie Ellis, have discovered that dental pulp stem cells [DPSC] have the ability to differentiate into complex networks of cells closely resembling neurons found in the brain.  According to Dr. Ellis, “Stem cells from teeth have great potential to grow into new brain or nerve cells, and this could potentially assist with treatments of brain disorders, such as stroke.” She goes on to say “ultimately, we want to be able to use a patient’s own stem cells for tailor-made brain therapy that doesn’t have the host rejection issues commonly associated with cell-based therapies. Another advantage is that dental pulp stem cell therapy may provide a treatment option available months or even years after the stroke has occurred.”  Current drug treatment therapies for stroke victims must be administered almost immediately following the stroke – within hours.  This severely limits their application as most stroke victims don’t have access to these treatments within that timeframe. Continue reading

Mind the Gap: “BioPen” Offers Personalized Bone Reconstruction

The Biopen “fills in” damaged bone with stem cells to facilitate bone regeneration.

Researchers at Melbourne’s St. Vincent Hospital and the University of Wollongong are engineering a device known as the “Biopen” to deliver stem cells to damaged or diseased bones. This novel method of stem cell therapy administers a mixture of jelly and stem cells into the damaged sections of the bone. The jelly is then UV-dried into a scaffolding to facilitate stem cell growth and bone regeneration.

Continue reading

Autologous Stem Cells Promote Proper Bone Healing

Autologous stem cells eliminate the risk of bone loss and infection in hard to heal bone fractures

A study team from Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan has developed a treatment for hard to heal bone fractures. The treatment makes use of autologous [the patient’s own] stem cells to promote proper healing in fractures that fail to heal on their own. Continue reading

Stem Cells Promote Regrowth of Neural Cells Following Traumatic Brain Injury

neurogenic stem cell

Transplanted neurogenic stem cells recruit host neural stem cells to site of TBI for repair.

Researchers at the University of South Florida have successfully used adult stem cells to repair traumatic brain damage in neurologically impaired mice. Prior to the study, hypotheses on how stem cells may provide treatment for neurological disorders were limited. However, the results of this experiment provide a new theory: stem cells replace dying cells while attracting other stem cells from uninjured regions of the brain to the damaged portions for continued neural cell replenishment. In the words of Principal Investigator Dr. Cesar Borlongan, “The transplanted stem cells serve as migratory cues for the brain’s own neurogenic cells.” Continue reading

Stem Cell Diabetes Treatment Option Advances

doctor measuring patient's insulin level

In an early stage study recently carried out by the Institute of Kidney Diseases and Research Center (IKDRC), a treatment developed by the IKDRC utilizing Insulin Secreting Cells (ISC), derived from the patient’s own mesenchymal stem cells, shows that the need for insulin doses decreased by an average of 50% when the ISCs were implanted in patients.

Continue reading