Archive by category | Regenerative medicine

Stem-cell seeded trachea transplant

A patient who had severe tuberculosis is breathing much better after receiving a transplant of a trachea seeded with her own stem cells. The work, published in the Lancet, has been reported by the New York Times. A team of researchers from four European universities took a trachea from a decesased donor, removed its cells, leaving behind the extracellular structure, and re-seeded it with mesenchymal stem cells, a cell type found in bone marrow and elsewhere that can make (among many other things) cartilage.  Read more

This week: diabetes deal, new building, seeing rats, young innovator

Stem cells for diabetes got a vote of confidence this week, with giant Novo Nordisk entering into a deal with Cellartis and Lund University to create insulin-producing cells for diabetes. Novo Nordisk has been selling insulin since 1923 and knows the diabetes market well. Additionally, Geron announced a publication on its progress coaxing embryonic stem cells into what it calls islet-like clusters. The cells secrete insulin, glucagon, and other factors, as well as responding to glucose levels. These technologies are still far from clinical trials, and the buzz is that southern California’s Novocell is in the lead for bringing ES-cell products to trial for diabetes.  Read more

Stem cell trials: balancing hope and risk

In Madison, Wisconsin, the former US secretary of health bellows: “Some inner hope!” Tommy Thompson yells at the crowd—a room full of stem cell research advocates—preaching to the converted that embryonic stem cells give disease sufferers a reason to believe in a better life.  Read more

Stem cells for joints: NIH studies, FDA worries, horses run

The National Institute for Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases will be starting its own transplant center to investigate the potential of bone marrow stem cells for muscle and bone diseases, according to a recent article in Wired News.  Read more

Stem cells in fat might help arthritic dogs walk

An article in TIME describes a San Diego company that is already offering a procedure using stem cells collected from fat to treat pets with bad hips. Fat is scooped from a dog’s abdomen, and then the stem cells are isolated with centrifugation (spinning test tubes of cells so that the heaviest ones go to the bottom) and injected into the problematic area.  Read more

Old stem cells made young; more maps of pluripotency

Once again, there are more great papers out there than I can write about. Below are two that will show up on the site in a few days. (Nature Reports web production schedule requires a week). Also check out Tom Zwaka’s paper that finds another, powerful control over Nanog; Sheng Ding shows that small molecules can substitute for two of the four Yamanaka factors, inching closer to reprogramming without viruses; in a high-throughput screen, Lorenz Studer shows us how known drugs affect human embryonic stem cells, a technique that might reveal unwanted side effects. (Those are all in the most recent Cell Stem Cell; see our Q&A with Sheng Ding on the potential of small molecules.)  … Read more

Overview of FDA meeting on embryonic stem cells: cautious movement toward the clinic

On Thursday, an FDA advisory committee meeting met to figure out how to decide whether products derived from embryonic stem cells were ready to be tested in human participants. There was much talk, even more questions, and no firm decisions.  Read more