Apparently it looks like a simple tea bag but in reality it’s a genetically engineered concentrate able to completely revolutionize treatments for stroke patients. A special little bag called ‘CellBeads’ contains tiny capsules, each containing about 1 million stem cells. Thanks to genetic engineering techniques, stem cells taken from the bone marrow are transformed into a drug that protects brain cells from dying. This allows the cells to be rejuvenated and repair damage caused by the stroke. The stem cells are encapsulated to ‘fool’ the immune system, avoiding a rejection by the body. ‘CellBeads’ were developed by a group of British scientists from the Biocompatibles International Company, and are about 2cm, which allows them to be easily removed.
This is a promising treatment that has already achieved an initial success on a German patient who agreed to undergo an innovative operation after suffering two strokes and losing the use of one of his arms. For Walter Bast, being the first patient to use this new treatment made him feel ‘very fortunate’, he said the week after the operation. Doctors of the International Neuroscience-Institute of Hanover inserted a ‘bag of stem cells‘ in the patient’s brain. 15 days after the operation, the time necessary for the stem cells to begin working, surgeons operated to remove the ‘bag’. The results were surprising.
6 weeks after the operation, the patient’s body returned to normal and Bast regained the use his arm. “Furthermore, we did not see any side effects,” said surgeon Thomas Brinker.
For this reason, according to researchers, many stroke patients could soon have a new and very efficient treatment.