Scientists have grown what they call a “living bandage” for a common knee injury using the patient’s own stem cells and will soon begin testing it in human patients:
Scientists at Bristol University have now managed to heal cartilage tissue in a laboratory with stem cells taken from a patient’s own bone marrow. They used the cells to coat a sponge-like scaffold, made from collagen (a fibrous protein) and placed it inside the tear in the cartilage. The stem cells pulled the two pieces of torn cartilage together.
University of Utah researchers are enrolling people into a new adult stem cell clinical trial to treat ischemic and non-ischemic heart failure:
The one-year Cardiac Repair Cell Treatment of Patients with Dilated Cardiomyopathy (IMPACT-DCM) study will look at the safety of injecting Cardiac Repair Cells (CRC) and their ability to improve heart function.
Patients enrolled in IMPACT-DCM will have their own bone marrow cells drawn (about 3 tablespoons worth), which will then be grown in a culture to expand the number of cells that will help the heart muscle and improve blood flow. Two weeks later, the patient’s stem cells will be injected directly into the left ventricle of the heart during a minimally invasive surgery developed by Amit N. Patel, M.D., national principal investigator for the IMPACT-DCM trial and director of cardiovascular regenerative medicine at the University of Utah School of Medicine.
Claudia Castillo received a new windpipe with tissue engineered from her own stem cells:
Castillo was given the stem cell surgery, the controversial branch of medicine that some say could lead to human cloning, after suffering a severe lung collapse.
The condition, caused by long-term tuberculosis left Castillo, a Colombian now living in Barcelona, unable to carry out simple domestic duties or care for her two children…
To create the new windpipe, the team took a seven-centimeter (2.75-inch) segment of trachea from a 51-year-old who had died. Over a six-week period, the team then removed all the cells from the donor trachea, because those cells could lead to rejection of the organ after transplant.
All that remained of the donor’s stripped-down trachea was a matrix of collagen, a sort of scaffolding onto which the team then put Castillo’s own stem cells — along with cells taken from a healthy part of her trachea. Birchall had already taken Castillo’s stem cells from her bone marrow and grown them into a large population in his Bristol lab.
I have said before that in the final analysis, the argument about whether or not to pursue research using human embryos does not rest on the success of ethical alternatives. I have begun shying away from beginning an ASC vs. ESC research debate as research on human embryos is unethical…period, regardless of any ethical alternatives. But their success is worth noting, nevertheless.
More success stories:
I mentioned stem cells treating knee injuries seven months ago in this post
Read more about ASCs and the heart here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here…aaaannndd here, WHEW! That’s all I’ve got anyway…