What are mesenchymal stem cells? where are they found in the human body? What are their most promising clinical applications? Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic of Columbia University gives us an answer to these questions and and an outlook on the future of mesenchymal stem cells.
The capacity to reprogram adult patient cells into pluripotent, embryonic-like, stem cells by nuclear transfer has been reported as a breakthrough by scientists from the US and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
The work, described in the journal Nature, was accomplished by researchers from the New York Stem Cell Foundation Research Institute and Columbia University and by Nissim Benvenisty, the Herbert Cohn professor of Cancer Research and director of the Stem Cell Unit at the Institute of Life Sciences at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and his graduate student Ido Sagi. The latter assisted in the characterization of the pluripotent
Like Samson, researchers in the field of stem cells have used the jawbone to make a point. Dr. Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic and her team at Columbia University have manipulated adult stem cells to grow one of the most difficult sections of bone to replace, the temporomandibular joint. This jawbone was created by allowing pluripotent cells harvested from marrow to grow in a scaffold that was fashioned to mimic the TMJ’s shape.
It is the first accurate and anatomically sized bone created by stem cells in a lab. Dr. Vunjak-Novakovic hopes that this new creation will serve as a proof of concept