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Stem cells found to heal damaged artery in lab study
Date:1/10/2013

e inner surface was beginning to regenerate, and by 14 days, the inside of the artery had been perfectly restored to its complex natural state. It went from a non-functional tube to a complex fully functional artery.

"Just think of what this kind of treatment would mean to a patient who had just suffered a heart attack as a consequence of a damaged coronary artery. And this is the real potential of stem cell regenerative medicinethat is, a treatment with stem cells that regenerates a damaged or destroyed tissue or organ," VandeBerg said.

To show that the artery couldn't heal itself in the absence of stem cells, the researchers took a control arterial segment that also was stripped of the cells on its interior surface, but did not seed it with stem cells. No healing occurred.

Stains for proteins that indicate functional characteristics showed that the healed artery had completely normal function and could do everything that a normal artery does in a healthy individual.

"This is evidence that we can harness stem cells to treat the gravest of arterial injuries," said VandeBerg.

Eventually, scientists hope to be able to take a skin cell or a white blood cell or a cell from any other tissue in the body, and induce it to become just like an embryonic stem cell in its capacity to differentiate into any tissue or organ.

"The vision of the future is, for example, for a patient with a pancreas damaged because of diabetes, doctors could take skin cells, induce them to become stem cells, and then grow a new pancreas that is just like the one before disease developed," VandeBerg said.


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Contact: Joseph Carey
jcarey@txbiomed.org
210-258-9437
Texas Biomedical Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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