Gel-Like Polymers May Improve Stem Cell-Based Therapies.

Scientists are developing a polymeric gel to protect stem cells from trauma during transplant injections.

Complex chemical polymers are currently being developed by scientists at Stanford University to protect and support the proliferation of stem cells during spinal cord transplantation procedures.  The gels are designed to provide padding for the cells during injection, while also varying in viscosity and the biochemical signals contained within to offer stem cells an optimal environment for differentiation. Continue reading

Treating Arthritis with Stem Cells

damaged knee and mesenchymal stem cells

Arthritis affects 44 million individuals in the US resulting in the need for approximately 700,000 knee-replacement and 100,000 hip replacement surgeries every year. Researchers at Stanford University have developed a technique to track the effectiveness of mesenchymal stem cells [the type of stem cells found in teeth] in repairing arthritic joints. Mesenchymal stem cells are capable of differentiating into bone and cartilage, as well as muscle, fat and tendon.  The researchers expect to adapt the study for clinical trials in humans this fall.

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