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

Lung Regeneration Made Possible through Stem Cells.

Scientists have found a stem cell line that specializes in restoring lung tissue

Jackson Laboratory scientists have identified the adult lung stem cells p63+/Krt5+ as the specific cell line that specializes in lung regeneration.  In an animal model, professors Frank McKeon, Ph.D. and Wa Xian, Ph.D. observed as the p63+/Krt5+, which typically mature into the lungs’ alveoli, responded to lung damage caused by the H1N1 influenza virus by migrating to the sites of inflammation and restoring the lost tissue. Continue reading

Listen to Your Gut – “Mini-Stomachs” Built In-Vitro from Stem Cells.

Scientists have engineered cellular clusters that mimic the functions of the stomach.

Scientists at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Centre have induced adult stem cells to differentiate into small clusters of gastric tissue that replicate the functions of the human stomach.  The lab-made structures, known as “mini-stomachs”, were created by replicating the chemical pathways of early stage stomach development of stem cells in a petri dish.   Continue reading

Inflammatory Disease Healed with Stem Cells

Stem cells located in the gums have the ability to regulate inflammatory conditions.

A research team led by Dr. Songtao Shi from the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC has discovered that mesenchymal stem cells [MSCs] found in the gums are able to regulate the body’s immune system to treat inflammatory diseases.  In an animal model suffering from colitis [an inflamed condition of the colon], the scientists were able to transplant these gingival MSCs, significantly reducing the inflammation. Continue reading

The Nose Knows – The Importance of Stem Cells.

Stem cells are regulators for critical connections between the nose and the brain.

Scientists from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke have identified neural stem cells as important regulators of the olfactory bulb and its connections to the brain. The researchers discovered that a constant influx of stem cells is required for the olfactory system to function properly.  The removal of stem cells causes a widespread disruption of signals sent to the brain, resulting in sensory deprivation. 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

Osteoarthritis Stem Cell Treatment in Clinical Trial

The transplantation of stem cells into areas affected by osteoarthritis allow lost cartilage tissue to regenerate.

In recent clinical trials, researchers at the National University of Ireland Galway have successfully utilized adult stem cells to treat patients with osteoarthritis.  The treatment involves recovering the patients’ own [autologous] stem cells and then injecting the stem cells into cartilage to stimulate the regeneration of lost tissue. Continue reading

Brain Model Created from Stem Cells.

Researchers from Tufts University utilize stem cells to create a 3-D model of the brain that replicates neurological function.

As reported in a recent article in the New York Times, bioengineers from Tufts University have created a 3-D model of the brain that, utilizing stem cell-derived neurons, the model can mimic the brain’s response to traumatic injury. Principle Investigator Dr. David Kaplan tested the model by dropping weights on it, resulting in a complete neuronal response, including the transmission of electrical impulses and chemical signals through the neurons. Continue reading

Anti-Aging Properties of MSCs

Mesenchymal Stem Cells are able to stimulate muscle-building cells that lose function with age.

A recently published study by University of Illinois Kinesiology and Community Health Professor Marni Boppart has identified mesenchymal stem cells [MSCs] as a tool for rejuvenating muscle to prevent age-related injuries and disabilities.  In addition to their ability to differentiate into other cell types, MSCs were found to secrete growth factors that stimulate the activation of the multiple cell types comprising skeletal muscle, including muscle precursor cells and satellite cells, which lose function with age. Continue reading

Growing Organs With Your Own Stem Cells

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A research team led by Doctor Alexander Seifalian at University College London is currently creating custom lab-grown organs and body parts for patients utilizing autologous [the patient’s own] stem cells.  The scientists have engineered a polymer material that they mold into the shape of an organ in need, infuse with the patient’s stem cells, and then transplant back onto the patient’s body.   Continue reading