The Mayo Clinic recently announced the first stem cell based clinical trial for treating pediatric congenital heart disease in the US. The stem cell therapy seeks to treat hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS), a rare defect in which the left side of the heart is critically underdeveloped. The treatment utilizes patient’s own [autologous] stem cells taken from the child’s umbilical cord blood.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are a type of adult stem cell that can be expanded in-vitro [outside the body] and differentiated into a multitude of tissue types; such as bone, muscle, connective tissue, neurons, and insulin producing pancreatic beta cells. This is often referred to as ‘multipotency’. Because of the unique properties of MSCs, researchers from around the globe are utilizing them in the development of treatments and regenerative therapies to address a wide variety of disease, trauma and injury. For this reason, mesenchymal stem cell research is the fastest growing area of stem cell research. Continue reading →
The world of regenerative medicine is advancing rapidly, as more complex organs are being grown and transplanted. Recently, researchers, supported by the Biomedical Research Center at the University College London Hospitals, have been awarded the funding to conduct the first-ever clinical trial of a stem cell generated voice box transplant. The creation of a voice box represents the evolution of the successful creation and transplantation of an artificial trachea as researchers and scientist develop the capability of growing ever more complex organs.
A recent study at Lund University in Sweden reveals the discovery of a type of stem cell that has the ability to differentiate into new brain tissue. This discovery introduces the possibility of finding ways to repair damage to the brain as a result of disease or injury. Researchers plan to use this study as a springboard for further studies in stem cell therapies to treat neural degenerative disease such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.