MIT engineers have boosted stem cells’ ability to regenerate vascular tissue (such as blood vessels) by equipping them with genes that produce extra growth factors (naturally occurring compounds that stimulate tissue growth). In a study in mice, the researchers found that the stem cells successfully generated blood vessels near the site of an injury, allowing damaged tissue to survive.
Why it matters: Stem cells hold great potential as a way to promote tissue regeneration. However, this approach has been limited because stem cells don’t produce enough growth factors after transplantation. The researchers’ new super-charged stem cells could be used to
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In the near future, hearts that have just suffered a heart attack will be able to repair themselves, according to an incredible discovery of how to reeducate cardiac stem cells to repair damaged hearts. In fact, stem cells normally perform the delicate task of repairing cardiac muscle, but after a heart attack the cells no longer carry out this highly important self-repair.
Italian scholars at the ‘Sapienza’ University in Rome and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Monterotondo, have discovered why these cells stop functioning correctly, and now understand how to induce them to
Doctors may soon be able to ‘draw’ new bone, skin and muscle on to patients, after scientists created a pen-like device that can apply human cells directly on to seriously injured people.
The device contains stem cells and growth factors and will give surgeons greater control over where the materials are deposited.
It will also reduce the time the patient is in surgery by delivering live cells and growth factors directly to the site of injury, accelerating the regeneration of functional bone and cartilage, scientists said.
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A research group at Imperial College London has designed a new treatment able to significantly improve the body’s capacity to repair damage caused by a heart attack or bone fracture. The new therapy, described in Cell Stem Cell, ‘fools’ the spinal cord inducing it to ’overproduce’ stem cells which repair damaged tissues in the body. Researchers hope to test the treatment on animals by the end of the year. If testing is successful, the next step will be to experiment on human beings attempting to induce them to use their own stem cells
A group of British doctors are preparing for human clinical trials that will take a person’s bone marrow stem cells, transform them into heart stem cells and inject them into the heart, where they can go to work repairing damage.
“Placing heart stem cells into the heart to repair has a very good chance of working; because the stem cells are the patient’s own there are no problems with rejection,” said Professor Sian Harding, of Imperial College London.
The British researchers plan to use a technique that was pioneered at the Mayo Clinic. They will remove 40 milliliters of bone marrow