Bone Repair Stem Cell Breakthrough Shows Promise

Posted: February 15, 2012 at 9:12 pm

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Main Category: Stem Cell Research
Article Date: 15 Feb 2012 - 8:00 PST

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According to a study published in the February issue of the STEM CELL Translational Medicine Journal , a world-first technique for generating adult stem cells (mesenchymal stem cells [MSCs]) has been developed by researchers at the University of Queensland. This new method can be used to repair bone and possibly other organs, and will considerably affect individuals suffering from a variety of serious diseases.

Professor Nicholas Fisk, who leads the collaborative study between the UQ Clinical Research Center (UQCCR) and the UQ's Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN), explained:

"We used a small molecule to induce embryonic stem cells over a 10 day period, which is much faster than other studies reported in the literature.

The technique also worked on their less contentious counterparts, induced pluripotent stem cells.

To make the pluripotent mature stem cells useful in the clinic, they have to be told what type of cell they need to become (pre-differentiated), before being administered to an injured organ, or otherwise they could form tumors.

Because only small numbers of MSCs exist in the bone marrow, and harvesting bone marrow from a healthy donor is an invasive procedure, the ability to make our own MSCs in large number in the laboratory is an exciting step in the future widespread clinical use of MSCs.

We were able to show these new forms of stem cells exhibited all the characteristics of bone marrow stem cells and we are currently examining their bone repair capability."

Ernst Wolvetang, co-researcher on the study and AIBN Associate Professor, explained that the technique had overcome a considerable obstacle in the translation of stem cell-based therapy.

Wolvetang said: "We are very excited by this research, which has brought together stem cell researchers from two of the major UQ research hubs UQCCR and AIBN."

Written by: Grace Rattue

Copyright: Medical News Today
Not to be reproduced without permission of Medical News Today

Visit our stem cell research section for the latest news on this subject. UniQuest, The University of Queensland's main commercialization company, invites parties interested in licensing the intellectual property relating to this discovery to contact UniQuest on 3365 4037 or lifesciences@uniquest.com.au.

Source: University of Queensland

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Bone Repair Stem Cell Breakthrough Shows Promise

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