Skip to comments.Faster, Safer Method for Producing Stem Cells
Posted on 12/18/2012 12:06:26 AM PST by neverdem
A new method for generating stem cells from mature cells promises to boost stem cell production in the laboratory, helping to remove a barrier to regenerative medicine therapies that would replace damaged or unhealthy body tissues.
The technique, developed by researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, allows for the unlimited production of stem cells and their derivatives as well as reduces production time by more than half, from nearly two months to two weeks.
"One of the barriers that needs to be overcome before stem cell therapies can be widely adopted is the difficulty of producing enough cells quickly enough for acute clinical application," says Ignacio Sancho-Martinez, one of the first authors of the paper and a postdoctoral researcher in the laboratory of Juan...
As it turns out, iPSCs have their own problems. They take a long time to create in the lab, in a highly inefficient process that can take up to two months to complete. First, somatic cells must be reprogrammed to iPSCs, which takes considerable time and effort. Then, the iPSCs have to be differentiated into specific cell lineages prior to therapeutic application. Far worse, they can sometimes develop into tumors, called teratomas, which can be cancerous.
Knowing this, scientists wondered if it might not be necessary to go all the way back to the blank slate of a pluripotent stem cell. Key to this idea is that pluripotent stem cells do not immediately grow into particular cells. They go through intermediate progenitor phases where they become "multipotent," and can only develop into cell types within a certain cellular lineage. While a pluripotent cell can become nearly any cell in the body, a multipotent blood cell, for example, can become red or white blood cells or platelets, but not distant lineages such as neurons...
(Excerpt) Read more at sciencedaily.com ...
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