Navigation Links
From one cell, many possible cures

A single cell with the potential to repair damaged heart muscle tissue . . . regenerate injured bone . . . create new cartilage or skin . . . even reverse nerve damage. Human stem cells offer tremendous hope for the development of revolutionary medical treatments for these and a variety of other human health problems.

Up until now, however, stem cell research has been slowed by ethical controversy -- as well as by the rarity of the extraordinary cells themselves.

That could be about to change: A Florida State University research team in Tallahassee, Fla. reports that it has designed a biomedical device that will allow stem cells derived from adult bone marrow to be grown in sufficient quantities to permit far more research -- and allow faster growth of tissues that can be transplanted into patients.

Teng Ma, an assistant professor of chemical and biomedical engineering at the Florida A&M University-FSU College of Engineering, and colleagues have created a device called a perfusion bioreactor that is designed to mimic conditions encountered by adult stem cells within the human body. The reactor bathes stem cell samples in a protein-rich liquid while also simulating the flow of the body's circulatory system.

"Within the human body, each cell is no more than 200 micrometers from a source of nutrients," Ma explained. "The perfusion bioreactor allows us to deliver essential nutrients to stem cells in a manner very similar to what they are used to within the body."

By altering that flow of nutrients to the stem cells, researchers also hope to control what type of cell they ultimately will become, Ma said.

"The perfusion bioreactor can be used to reproduce mesenchymal stem cells and to direct their differentiation into bone, cartilage, muscle, heart muscle, fat or nerve tissue," Ma said. "The tissues grown then will be suitable for clinical transplantation." He added that stem cells can live for up to 40 days within the b ioreactor.

Ma's research has attracted attention on several fronts. He has received research funding totaling about $1.2 million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the James & Esther King Biomedical Research Foundation, the American Cancer Society and the FSU Cornerstone Program. He also recently received two U.S. patents relating to the perfusion bioreactor, and indicates that they are negotiating with a technology company to manufacture the device for other stem cell researchers.

Collaborating with Ma on his perfusion bioreactor research were post-doctoral student Feng Zhao and former graduate student Warren Grayson.

While much of the controversy surrounding stem cell research has centered around the use of cells derived from fetal or embryonic tissue, Ma points out that the mesenchymal stem cells used in his research come from adult donors.

"The National Institutes of Health helped establish the Tulane Center for Gene Therapy at Tulane University as a national distributor of these cells to researchers," he said. "The center is the source of the stem cells we use.

"All of their donors are adults between the ages of 19 and 49. Essentially, each donor undergoes a medical procedure in which a small amount of bone marrow is extracted from his or her pelvic bone."

Within that extracted bone marrow, only about one in every 100,000 cells is a stem cell, Ma said. "Because they are so rare, the ability to reproduce stem cells in a laboratory becomes particularly significant for further research and clinical trials."

Ma's research may lead to important breakthroughs in the field of stem cell research and application, said Bruce Locke, chairman of the department of chemical and biomedical engineering in the College of Engineering. "By addressing one of the key issues constraining this research -- a limited supply of stem cells -- he could help advance the development of numerous medical therapies by years," Locke said.

According to the Tulane Center for Gene Therapy's Web site, "stem cells are so named because they are like the stems on a tree that can produce new leaves and flowers each year." Each stem cell has the ability to divide so as to produce a perfect copy of itself; the copy then can become a "workhorse" cell, such as a bone or nerve cell. Because the stem cell produced by this division is a perfect copy of the original stem cell, stem cells seem to be able to divide and live indefinitely, perhaps forever.


'"/>

Source:Florida State University


Related biology news :

1. Viral DNA sequence a possible trigger for breast cancer
2. New studies suggest airborne SARS transmission is possible
3. New method shows it is possible to grow bone for grafts within a patients body
4. Protein amplification in melanoma is possible drug target
5. Group proves its possible to grow new lung alveoli by growing new blood vessels
6. Oh, rats! Designer animals reveal possible heart disease genes
7. Team discovers possible universal strategy to combat addiction
8. Evolution follows few of the possible paths to antibiotic resistance
9. Viral genetic differences are possible key to HIV dementia
10. Blood-compatible nanoscale materials possible using heparin
11. Planning ahead: Having the healthiest baby possible
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/28/2016)... India , April 28, 2016 ... Infosys (NYSE: INFY ), and Samsung SDS, a ... that will provide end customers with a more secure, ... services.      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130122/589162 ) , ... services, but it also plays a fundamental part in enabling ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... , April 28, 2016 First quarter 2016: ... up 966% compared with the first quarter of 2015 ... SEK 589.1 M (loss: 18.8) and the operating margin was 40% ... 0.32) Cash flow from operations was SEK 249.9 M ... revenue guidance is unchanged, SEK 7,000-8,500 M. The operating ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... India and LONDON ... Infosys Finacle, part of EdgeVerve Systems, a product ... and Onegini today announced a partnership to integrate ... solutions.      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20151104/283829LOGO ... to provide their customers enhanced security to access ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2016)... 2016 ReportsnReports.com adds 2016 ... focus on US, EU, China ... the healthcare business intelligence collection of its growing ... report on the Flow Cytometry market spread across ... 282 tables and figures is now available at ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... , ... April 26, 2016 , ... The European ... been selected as one of three finalists for the European Inventor Award 2016 in ... innovation prize will be announced at a ceremony in Lisbon on June 9th. , ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... April 26, 2016 , ... This unique ... Scottsdale and will offer attendees an opportunity to get the lowdown on female fertility ... Over cocktails and appetizers, Dr. Jesse Hade, of Boston IVF - The Arizona Center, ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... VIENNA and ... The prize recognizes the innovation capabilities ... innovations that will benefit patients and laboratory diagnostics ... ) , Norma Instruments , ... setting products in the field of hematology, announced ...
Breaking Biology Technology: