Stem cell treatments surging into clinic

Stem cell treatments surging into clinic

More than ever before, stem cell therapies appear poised to transform medicine — potentially curing heart disease, diabetes and paralyzing injuries, among other ailments.

But it’s also clear that such innovations will be very expensive.

How the government, insurers and patients will pay for what could be a flood of these new treatments drew the attention of more than 700 biomedical and health-care executives Tuesday at the 2014 Stem Cell Meeting on the Mesa.

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Researchers use stem cells from fat to repair bone

Researchers use stem cells from fat to repair bone

INJURY REPAIR

New source for bone? Fat chance

UCSF scientists may have found a clever way to use stem cells found in fat tissue to repair or replace bone damage from trauma, cancer or other injuries.

The technique, tested in mice with broken shin bones, could improve current bone grafting procedures, which are common but sometimes not as successful as doctors and patients would like.

Bone grafting is done to strengthen joint replacements, fuse vertebrae, improve healing of bad fractures or replace bone loss. It involves removing healthy bone from either the patient who needs the graft or from a donor, living or dead. But bone tissue isn’t always available and grafts don’t always work, so scientists have been hunting for techniques to improve or replace the procedure.

The UCSF team first found that cartilage cells, when grafted instead of bone cells into a shin fracture in mice, promoted healing. The cartilage cells encouraged bone growth, plus the cells themselves eventually turned into bone.

Next, the scientists took stem cells found in fat tissue and, using certain growth factors, teased the cells into cartilage cells, which in turn became bone cells.

The scientists believe that someday doctors may be able to implant a scaffold structure that releases growth factors in the area that needs repairing and transforms stem cells from fat – which is much easier to access than bone or cartilage – into bone.

The research was published online April 22 in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.

– Erin Allday

 

INFERTILITY

Skin cells manipulated into sperm

Stanford scientists took skin cells from infertile men, transformed them into stem cells and implanted them into mice, where they turned into a type of cell that eventually becomes sperm, according to a new paper.

The procedure could help researchers better understand a type of genetic infertility called azoospermia, in which men cannot make mature sperm. It also could reveal new techniques for helping men who have become infertile to produce sperm and become biologic fathers.

The research started with five men – three who weren’t able to produce sperm – who provided samples of skin tissue. The scientists manipulated the skin cells to become induced pluripotent stem cells, which are capable of becoming many other kinds of cells in the body.

The scientists transplanted the stem cells into the seminiferous tubules – where sperm is produced – in mice, and they automatically transformed into germ cells, which become sperm. In the mice, the germ cells did not fully transform into sperm, likely because of significant differences in reproduction between humans and the animals.

Stem cells taken from the infertile men produced far fewer germ cells than those taken from the fertile men. But the fact that any germ cells came from the infertile men at all was remarkable, the scientists said.

The research was published May 1 in the journal Cell Reports.

– Erin Allday

 

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NUI Galway researchers involved in project to use stem cells to regenerate cartilage

  NUI Galway researchers involved in project to use stem cells to regenerate cartilage

stem cells from adult fat tissue could be used to activate the regeneration of cartilage

NUI Galway researchers are part of an exciting EU-funded project looking at how stem cells from adult fat tissue could be used to activate the regeneration of cartilage. If successful, their work could lead to effective new treatments for millions of osteoarthritis sufferers. Positive, early results indicate the treatment could become a reality for patients within the next five years.

Osteoarthritis is a disease that affects more than 70 million EU citizens, including over 400,000 in Ireland. It is the most common form of human arthritis and is characterised by the degeneration of cartilage in joints, which can become very painful.
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Doctors aim to grow ears from fat

Doctors aim to grow ears from fat
Doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London are aiming to reconstruct people’s faces with stem cells taken from their fat.

The team has grown cartilage in the laboratory and believe it could be used to rebuild ears and noses.

They say the technique, published in the journal Nanomedicine, could revolutionise care.

Experts said there was some way to go, but it had the potential to be “transformative”.

The doctors want to treat conditions like microtia, that results in the ear failing to develop properly and can be missing or malformed.

At the moment, children have cartilage taken from their ribs, which is then delicately sculpted by surgeons to resemble an ear and implanted into the child.

It requires multiple operations, leaves permanent scarring on the chest and the rib cartilage never recovers.

FROM FAT

The team envisage an alternative – a tiny sample of fat would be taken from the child and stem cells would be extracted and grown from it.

An ear-shaped “scaffold” would be placed in the stem cell broth so the cells would take on the desired shape and structure. And chemicals would be used to persuade the stem cells to transform into cartilage cells.

This could then be implanted beneath the skin to give the child an ear shape.

The researchers have been able to create the cartilage in the scaffold, but safety testing is needed before they could be used in patients.

One of the researchers, Dr Patrizia Ferretti, told the BBC: “It is really exciting to have the sort of cells that are not tumourogenic, that can go back into the same patient so we don’t have the problem of immunosuppression and can do the job you want them to do.

“It would be the Holy Grail to do this procedure through a single surgery, so decreasing enormously the stress for the children and having a structure that hopefully will be growing as the child grows.”

NEW EAR

The technique could help patients like 15-year old Samuel Clompus, who has had the reconstructive ear surgery.

His mother, Sue, said the family welcomed the research.

She told the BBC: “They wouldn’t have needed to take the cartilage.

“He has a scar there now and Sam said it was the most uncomfortable bit.”

The technique could be used to create cartilage for other tissues such as the nose, which can be damaged in adults after cancer surgery.

Doctors say they could also make bone using the same starting material.

“Obviously we are at the beginning of this, the next step will be to perfect just the choice of materials and to develop this further,” said Dr Ferretti.

Commenting on the study, Prof Martin Birchall, a surgeon at University College London, said: “If you had something that was truly regenerative, that would be transformative.”

He was involved in the first operations to give people lab-grown windpipes.

He said the fat-based technique needed more safety testing to reach that stage.

“We used [bone marrow] stem cells as they’ve been used in 10,000s of people for bone marrow transplants, fat stem cells are likely to be fine, but they haven’t got that safety record yet.”

Adult stem cells can boost healing of your joints

Adult stem cells can boost healing of your joints
Harnessing stem cells to cure disease is the hottest topic in injury and arthritis treatment today. By stimulating the adult stem cells found in our own bodies, we can amplify and speed up the natural healing process as well as grow new bone and cartilage to rebuild joints without the need for artificial replacements.
When we are injured, our body immediately begins the process of healing itself. The trauma or impact from injury results in damaged tissue, ruptured blood vessels and sometimes broken bones. The body responds by releasing fluid and blood cells into the injured area, which causes swelling. This inflammation response essentially walls off the injured area.
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Genetically Altered Stem Cells Generate Engineered Cartilage

Genetically Altered Stem Cells Generate Engineered Cartilage
Duke University researchers say they have moved a step closer to being able to generate replacement cartilage where it’s needed in the body by combining a synthetic scaffolding material with gene delivery methods.

Initiating tissue repair with stem cells usually requires the use of large amounts of growth factors. Experience has demonstrated that this is expensive and can be challenging once the developing material is implanted within a body.
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Stem Cell Therapy Following Meniscus Knee Surgery May Reduce Pain, Restore Meniscus

A single stem cell injection following meniscus knee surgery may provide pain relief and aid in meniscus regrowth, according to a novel study appearing in the January issue of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (JBJS).

More than one million knee arthroscopy procedures are performed each year in the U.S. primarily for the treatment of tears to the meniscus – the wedge-shaped pieces of cartilage that act as “shock absorbers” between the thighbone and shinbone in the knee joint.

In the first-of-its-kind study, “Adult Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSC) Delivered via Intra-Articular Injection to the Knee, Following Partial Medial Meniscectomy,” most patients who received a single injection of adult stem cells following the surgical removal of all or part of a torn meniscus, reported a significant reduction in pain. Some patients─24 percent of one MSC group and 6 percent of another─experienced at least a 15 percent increase in meniscal volume at one year. There was no additional increase in meniscal volume at year two.

“The results demonstrated that high doses of mesenchymal stem cells can be safely delivered in a concentrated manner to a knee joint without abnormal tissue formation,” said lead study author C. Thomas Vangsness, Jr., MD. “No one has ever done that before.” In addition, “the patients with arthritis got strong improvement in pain” and some experienced meniscal regrowth.

Specific Study Details The study involved 55 patients, ages 18 to 60, who underwent a partial medial meniscectomy (the surgical removal of all or part of a torn meniscus) at seven medical institutions. Patients were randomly placed in one of three treatment groups: Group A patients (18) received a “low-dose” injection of 50 million stem cells within seven to 10 days after meniscus surgery; Group B patients (18), a higher dose of 100 million stem cells; and the “control group(19),” sodium hyaluronate only. Patients were assessed to evaluate safety, meniscus regeneration through MRI and X-ray images, overall condition of the knee joint and clinical outcomes through two years. While most of the patients had some arthritis, patients with severe (level three or four) arthritis, in the same compartment as the meniscectomy, were excluded from the study.

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Joint Cartilage Development Tracked in Humans for First Time

Study identifies  development of human articular cartilage

 Stem cell researchers from UCLA’s Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research have published the first study to identify the origin cells and track the early development of human articular cartilage, providing what could be a new cell source and biological roadmap for therapies to repair cartilage defects and osteoarthritis. These revolutionary therapies could reach clinical trials within three years.

Led by Dr. Denis Evseenko, assistant professor of orthopedic surgery and head of UCLA’s Laboratory of Connective Tissue Regeneration, the study was published online ahead of print in Stem Cell Reports on December 12, 2013.

Articular cartilage is a highly specialized tissue formed from cells called chondrocytes that protect the bones of joints from forces associated with load bearing and impact, and allows nearly frictionless motion between the articular surfaces. Cartilage injury and lack of cartilage regeneration often lead to osteoarthritis involving degradation of joints, including cartilage and bone. Osteoarthritis currently affects more than 20 million people in the United States alone, making joint surface restoration a major priority in modern medicine.

Different cell types have been studied with respect to their ability to generate articular cartilage. However, none of the current cell-based repair strategies including expanded articular chondrocytes or mesenchymal stromal cells from adult bone marrow, adipose tissue, sinovium or amniotic fluid have generated long-lasting articular cartilage tissue in the laboratory.

By bridging developmental biology and tissue engineering, Evseenko’s discoveries represent a critical “missing link” providing scientists with checkpoints to tell if the cartilage cells (called chondrocytes) are developing correctly.

“We began with three questions about cartilage development,” Evseenko said, “we wanted to know the key molecular mechanisms, the key cell populations, and the developmental stages in humans. We carefully studied how the chondrocytes developed, watching not only their genes, but other biological markers that will allow us to apply the system for the improvement of current stem cell-based therapeutic approaches.”

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BioPen uses 3D printing methods to ‘draw’ live Stem cells into patients

BioPen uses 3D printing methods to ‘draw’ live Stem cells into patients
Doctors may soon be able to ‘draw’ new bone, skin and muscle on to patients, after scientists created a pen-like device that can apply human cells directly on to seriously injured people.

BioPen prototype 635 300x199 BioPen uses 3D printing methods to draw live Stem cells into patients

BioPen developed, uses 3D printing methods to ‘draw’ live cells onto patients

The device contains stem cells and growth factors and will give surgeons greater control over where the materials are deposited.

It will also reduce the time the patient is in surgery by delivering live cells and growth factors directly to the site of injury, accelerating the regeneration of functional bone and cartilage, scientists said.

The device developed at the University of Wollongong (UOW) will eliminate the need to harvest cartilage and grow it for weeks in a lab.

The BioPen works similar to 3D printing methods by delivering cell material inside a bio-polymer such as alginate, a seaweed extract, protected by a second, outer layer of gel material.

The two layers of gel are combined in the pen head as it is extruded onto the bone surface and the surgeon ‘draws’ with the ink to fill in the damaged bone section.

A low powered ultra-violet light source is fixed to the device that solidifies the inks during dispensing, providing protection for the embedded cells while they are built up layer-by-layer to construct a 3D scaffold in the wound site.

Once the cells are ‘drawn’ onto the surgery site they will multiply, become differentiated into nerve cells, muscle cells or bone cells and will eventually turn from individual cells into a thriving community of cells in the form of a functioning a tissue, such as nerves, or a muscle.

The device can also be seeded with growth factors or other drugs to assist regrowth and recovery, while the hand-held design allows for precision in theatre and ease of transportation.

The BioPen prototype was designed and built using the 3D printing equipment in the labs at Wollongong and was handed over to clinical partners at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne, led by Professor Peter Choong, who will work on optimising the cell material for use in clinical trials.

“This type of treatment may be suitable for repairing acutely damaged bone and cartilage, for example from sporting or motor vehicle injuries,” Choong, Director of Orthopaedics at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne said.

UCLA stem cell researchers track early development of human articular cartilage

Stem cell researchers from UCLA’s Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research have published the first study to identify the origin cells and track the early development of human articular cartilage, providing what could be a new cell source and biological roadmap for therapies to repair cartilage defects and osteoarthritis. These revolutionary therapies could reach clinical trials within three years.

Led by Dr. Denis Evseenko, assistant professor of orthopedic surgery and head of UCLA’s Laboratory of Connective Tissue Regeneration, the study was published online ahead of print in Stem Cell Reports on December 12, 2013.

Articular cartilage is a highly specialized tissue formed from cells called chondrocytes that protect the bones of joints from forces associated with load bearing and impact, and allows nearly frictionless motion between the articular surfaces. Cartilage injury and lack of cartilage regeneration often lead to osteoarthritis involving degradation of joints, includingcartilage and bone. Osteoarthritis currently affects more than 20 million people in the United States alone, making joint surface restoration a major priority in modern medicine.

Different cell types have been studied with respect to their ability to generate articular cartilage. However, none of the current cell-based repair strategies including expanded articular chondrocytes or mesenchymal stromal cells from adult bone marrow, adipose tissue, sinovium or amniotic fluid have generated long-lasting articular cartilage tissue in the laboratory.

By bridging developmental biology and tissue engineering, Evseenko’s discoveries represent a critical “missing link” providing scientists with checkpoints to tell if the cartilage cells (called chondrocytes) are developing correctly.

“We began with three questions about cartilage development,” Evseenko said, “we wanted to know the key molecular mechanisms, the key cell populations, and the developmental stages in humans. We carefully studied how the chondrocytes developed, watching not only their genes, but other biological markers that will allow us to apply the system for the improvement of current stem cell-based therapeutic approaches.”

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New stem cell treatments helping patients with knee pain

 New stem cell treatments helping patients with knee pain

 No matter your age, when cartilage begins to wear out around your knees and become damaged, it can limit movement and cause severe pain.


Now, a new technique using stem cells from donor umbilical cords could help young patients rebuild cartilage and reduce pain.

For Jim Hackett, chasing after his young son Jimmy has not been easy.

“I figured, you know, two years down the road, I want to be able to run around with him, play ball with him,” Hackett said. “At the rate I was going, that wasn’t going to happen.”

Years as a police officer had taken a toll on Hackett’s knees.

“It just gets to the point where your knee just says enough and you end up with cartilage problems,” Hackett said.

Doctor Brian Cole of the Rush Cartilage Restoration Center is using stem cells to repair cartilage.

“Several small holes are made into the bone to make it bleed intentionally,” Cole said.  “In that blood is our own body’s stem cells that lay down fibrocartilage or scar cartilage.”

Then stem cells from umbilical cord blood are mixed with hyaluronic acid, a building block of cartilage.

“The hope is through acting as a regulator, in that area, they can actually improve the healing response,” Cole said.

Now Hackett is back on his feet, and its helping him keep up with little Jimmy.

“Knees are great,” Hackett said. “I’m able to kneel now and before, prior to surgery, I wasn’t able to do that”

The therapy has been approved in South Korea and preliminary reports in the United States are promising. The best candidates are people under age 45 with some localized areas of cartilage damage.

The treatment is not meant for older patients with arthritis or in place of a knee replacement.


SOURCE…

Kyoto team generates cartilage cells without using stem cells

Kyoto University researchers have found a way to use human skin cells to produce new types of cells faster than using stem cells, according to a study published Thursday in the U.S. online science journal Plos One.

A team at the university’s Center for iPS Cell Research and Application used the so-called direct reprogramming method, where genes are implanted into skin cells, to produce a different type with the characteristics of cartilage cells.

The technique is expected to help treat cartilage damaged by disease or injury by reducing the time needed to produce new cells. The other method involves using artificially created induced pluripotent stem cells, which can grow into any type of human body tissue but take longer to produce.

The team, including professor Noriyuki Tsumaki, introduced three genes — c-MYC and KLF4 (which are needed to create iPS cells) and SOX9 (needed to develop cartilage cells) — into the skin cells of a newborn using a virus.

Within two weeks, cells bearing the features of cartilage cells were formed, the study said.

When these cells were transplanted into mice, they subsequently formed cartilage tissue, the team said, adding that no tumor was observed.

It only takes about two months to produce a sufficient amount of cells to transplant — about half the time required for the iPS cell technique, the team said.

Another advantage over the iPS cell technique is that the direct programming eliminates the possibility of contamination occurring from undivided cells that can develop into tumors, Tsumaki said.

Direct programming, however, still has hurdles to clear, he said.

“There are problems for its application in regenerative medicine, such as the use of a virus for transporting genes, and we want to overcome them,” Tsumaki said.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/10/17/national/kyoto-team-generates-cartilage-cells-without-using-stem-cells/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=kyoto-team-generates-cartilage-cells-without-using-stem-cells#.UmA_HHDYfjI

Can stem cells from belly fat repair injured knees?

HOUSTON (KTRK) — Finally, Houston humans are getting a shot at a cutting edge treatment that Houston Zoo animals have been getting — stem cells for injured knees. And the stem cells come from your belly fat!

“When I was playing basketball, I made a pivot stop and it just tore,” Jesse Flores said.

And it keeps happening. So Flores just had his sixth surgery on his right knee and will soon have a second surgery on his left knee.

“I want the stem cells to try and regrow the cartilage so this doesn’t keep on happening,” Flores said.

He’s talking about stem cells taken from his own belly fat. It’s the same procedure that InGeneron, a Houston company, performed on the zoo’s black leopard to help with arthritic joints. Now they are testing it to see if fat cells from your belly and help the cartilage in an injured human knee.

“Theoretically, we should be able to get them back to where they were before the injury, which is their normal knee status,” orthopedic surgeon Dr. Robert Burke said.

Fifty people will be in the stem cell study. Half will have surgery, plus stem cells. Half will just have the surgery. Then they’ll compare them in six months and 12 months.

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Stem cell work could help to stop arthritis in its tracks

Written byADAM LUKE

00486948 250x375 150x150 Stem cell work could help to stop arthritis in its tracks

Othopaedic surgeon Richard Villar says untreated injuries can turn to arthritis

A Cambridgeshire clinic has received approval to use adult stem cells to help repair and regenerate arthritis damaged tissues and joints

The Villar Bajwa Practice at the Spire Cambridge Lea Hospital in New Road, Impington, is the first private hospital in the UK to offer the treatment for the hip – tackling the early stages of arthritis.

It is also one of only a handful of sites to do the same for the knee, in which stem cells are used to create more cartilage, helping to preserve the natural hip and knee joints and delay or prevent the need for bigger operations such as joint replacements.

The operation costs about £3,800 on the NHS and slightly more privately.

Consultant orthopaedic surgeon, Richard Villar, runs the Impington practice with Ali Bajwa.

He said: “One of the Holy Grails of my speciality is to encourage gristle – articular cartilage – to heal.

“Gristle is that shiny, white layer on the end of a bone that most will have seen on a chicken drumstick. In humans, it coats the ball of the hip, and the hip socket but it features in many other joints, too – knees, shoulders, elbows, wrists, ankles, toes and even fingers.

“Sadly, the moment a gristle surface is breached, be that by injury or even simple ageing, if the damage remains untreated it can gradually expand until  arthritis intervenes.”

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At the Printer, Living Tissue

SAN DIEGO — Someday, perhaps, printers will revolutionize the world of medicine, churning out living hearts, livers and other organs to ease transplantation shortages. For now, though, Darryl D’Lima would settle for a little bit of knee cartilage.

Darryl D’Lima, an orthopedic specialist, worked with a bioprinter in his research on cartilage at Scripps Clinic in San Diego.

Dr. D’Lima, who heads an orthopedic research lab at the Scripps Clinic here, has already made bioartificial cartilage in cow tissue, modifying an old inkjet printer to put down layer after layer of a gel containing living cells. He has also printed cartilage in tissue removed from patients who have undergone knee replacement surgery.

There is much work to do to perfect the process, get regulatory approvals and conduct clinical trials, but his eventual goal sounds like something from science fiction: to have a printer in the operating room that could custom-print new cartilage directly in the body to repair or replace tissue that is missing because of injury or arthritis.

Just as 3-D printers have gained in popularity among hobbyists and companies who use them to create everyday objects, prototypes and spare parts (and even a crude gun), there has been a rise in interest in using similar technology in medicine. Instead of the plastics or powders used in conventional 3-D printers to build an object layer by layer, so-called bioprinters print cells, usually in a liquid or gel. The goal isn’t to create a widget or a toy, but to assemble living tissue.

At labs around the world, researchers have been experimenting with bioprinting, first just to see whether it was possible to push cells through a printhead without killing them (in most cases it is), and then trying to make cartilage, bone, skin, blood vessels, small bits of liver and other tissues

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Using body’s own stem cells can help postpone knee replacement

Age, not pain or swelling, is the main determining factor when it comes to getting a knee replacement. Doctors say because the artificial joints wear out in about 10 to 15 years, they have to be replaced.
Thus, getting one too young can lead to a more difficult operation later in life. Now there’s a new, procedure that can provide significant relief without surgery.

Recently 48-year-old Laura Hall was at her absolute, physically fit best. She had trained for and completed half marathons. Just five years earlier she weighed 300 pounds.

“At 300 pounds it was hard to get around,” said Hall. “I absolutely had a negative self image. I tried to cover myself up as much as possible.”

After Weight Watchers and plenty of determination on a treadmill, Hall shed nearly half her body weight. Suddenly she started experiencing excruciating pain in her knees.

“It was bone on bone,” she said. “I couldn’t even walk.”

No longer able to run, Hall started to see the pounds resurface. After working so hard to shed her unwanted weight, she couldn’t bear the thought of gaining it all back.

“I came to Dr. Welsh in tears,” said Hall. “I stood in this very room and cried to him. I said, ‘I’ve got to do something.'”

Scott Welsh, M.D., a surgeon with Central Texas Orthopedics, says many might assume knee replacement would be the best medical option for Hall. However, Welsh says she and others in their 40s, 50s, even 60s may be too young for that procedure.

Knee replacements typically last 10 to 15 years on average,” said Welsh. “If you’re somebody in your 40-50s that has to have a knee replacement, and that’s your only option, then you’re having a big revision surgery in your 60s or 70s when your health may be starting to fail.”

So what to do? Welsh a recommended a far less invasive procedure called stem cell knee injection. Welsh takes stem cells from the patient’s own body that are generally found in the pelvis. Those stem cells are removed with a syringe and placed into a centrifuge where they’re spun and mixed together for 15 minutes. Welsh then injects the stem cells into the knee.

“There was absolutely no pain involved in taking the stem cells out of my hip and putting them into my knee,” said Hall.

“The benefit is we can postpone that knee replacement surgery hopefully for many years if we can truly regenerate cartilage,” said Welsh.

“I know that it’s working because I’m already exercising,” said Hall. “I am so excited about feeling healthy again.”

The FDA-approved procedure takes only a couple of hours and patients go home the same day. Most are cleared to resume their normal exercise regimen in a week or two — a stark contrast to the lengthy recovery knee replacement surgery requires.
http://www.khou.com/news/health/bodys-own-stem-cells-can-help-postpone-knee-replacement-220236001.html

Stem Cell Medical Breakthrough stem cell knee cartilage repair

Melbourne scientists have been able to “grow” human cartilage from stem cells with the help of 3D printing technologies developed at the University of Wollongong.

Scientists at the university’s Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES) developed the 3D scaffolds which were used to grow the cartilage cells, or chondrocytes.

uow155378 150x150  Stem Cell Medical Breakthrough stem cell knee cartilage repair

Damien Myers researching cartilage

The medical breakthrough, led by Associate Professor Damian Myers of St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne, will eventually be used to repair cartilage damaged through trauma or disease.

UOW researchers in antibiotic breakthrough

Prof Myers said this was the first time true cartilage had been grown.

“We basically take fat cells from behind the knee cap, then we isolate the stem cells from the fat tissue,” he said.

“Then we’re differentiating, or actually forcing the stem cells to become cartilage cells within the 3D scaffolds and we form cartilage tissue by doing that.

“We’re doing the experiment in the laboratory, so the next step is to start testing that in a pre-clinical model.

“Hopefully over the next three to five years we can advance that for use in humans, for cartilage repair.”

Prof Myers said this method would benefit those with traumatic injuries from accidents, sporting injuries or certain conditions or diseases like osteoarthritis.

“There’s potential for people who have cancers that might have affected their knee or for some forms of knee or connective tissue disease,” he said.

UOW stem cell biologist Associate Professor Jeremy Crook said the university had customised fabrication equipment that enabled the live cells to be impregnated into a printed 3D structure.

He said as well as cartilage repair, this 3D printing technology could be combined with advances in stem cell research to develop other tissues such as muscle and even nerves.

“For instance, we plan to take human stem cells, such as stem cells that are isolated from the brain, and turn them into neurons which are cells of the brain,” Prof Crook said.

“By putting them together with the electro reactive materials being developed by the team [at ACES], such as conductive polymers, we will be able to manipulate the neural cells …

“Ultimately we will be able to generate tissues that could potentially be used for transplant therapy for the treatment of neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy or complex disorders like schizophrenia.”

Prof Crook will present a talk entitled “Stem cell bionics: sci-fi or a revolution in medicine?” at the annual Bill Wheeler Symposium on Thursday at the Leon Kane-Maguire theatre at UOW’s Innovation Campus.

All are welcome to attend the talk. To register, go to electromaterials.edu.au.

Unprecedented Stem Cell Procedure

22820691 BG1 dog Unprecedented Stem Cell Procedure

It’s no longer just talk, no longer only research. Thursday morning, veterinarians at the Animal Clinic of Billings performed a very rare procedure.

Dr. Bobbi Jo Massic orchestrated a regenerative stem cell procedure on her seven-year-old dog named Thor. The goal of the surgery is to alleviate pain caused by arthritic and diseased joints. Thor’s own plasma and an LED light activate the stem cells, giving them a boost. She says since the procedure is being performed on her own pet, she’ll be able to closely monitor his progress.

“We’ll have a very good idea on what we can tell people to expect from this,” Massic said. “It’ll be exciting for me, Thor has certainly been through a lot.”

Dr. Bryna Felchle says once injected, more cells are generated, and Thor will soon have more cartilage. In the coming years, she says this process will become a way for more pets to return to an active lifestyle.

“Oh I think it’s going to be a very common procedure,” she said. “It’s not a curative procedure, by any means, but it’s another method that we can use for our patients that have debilitating disease.”Video

Injecting iron supplement lets scientists track transplanted stem cells

daldrup link 150 Injecting iron supplement lets scientists track transplanted stem cells

Heike Daldrup-Link -injecting iron supplements

BY BRUCE GOLDMAN

A new, noninvasive technique (injecting iron supplements) for tracking stem cells after transplantation — developed by a cross-disciplinary team of radiologists, chemists, statisticians and materials scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine — could help surgeons determine whether a procedure to repair injured or worn-out knees is successful.

The technique, described in a study published online July 12 in Radiology, relies on an imaging agent already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for an entirely different purpose: anemia treatment. Although this study used rodents, the approach is likely to be adapted for use in humans this fall as part of a clinical trial in which mesenchymal stem cells will be delivered to the site of patients’ knee injuries. Mesenchymal stem cells are capable of differentiating into bone and cartilage, as well as muscle, fat and tendon, but not into the other cell types that populate the body.
  
The new technique involves labeling the cells before extraction, while they reside in the donor’s bone marrow. For the study, lead authors Aman Khurana, MD, a postdoctoral scholar, and Fanny Chapelin, a research associate, injected ferumoxytol, an FDA-licensed anemia treatment composed of iron-oxide nanoparticles, into rats prior to extracting bone marrow from them. Then, after enriching the mixture for mesenchymal stem cells, the investigators injected it into the sites of knee injuries in recipient rats. They followed the implanted cells’ progress for up to four weeks, comparing the results with those obtained both from cells labelled in laboratory dishes and from unlabelled cells.

Every year, arthritis accounts for 44 million outpatient visits and 700,000 knee-replacement procedures. But the early repair of cartilage defects in young patients may prevent further deterioration of the joint and the need for knee replacement later in life, said the study’s senior author, Heike Daldrup-Link, MD, PhD, an associate professor of radiology and clinician who splits her time between research and treating pediatric patients.

Mesenchymal stem cells have been used with some success in cartilage-repair procedures. “These cells can be easily derived from bone marrow of patients who are going to undergo the knee-repair procedure,” said Daldrup-Link, a member of the Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford. “And they can differentiate into the real-life tissues that compose our joints. But here, too, things can go wrong. The newly transferred cells might fail to engraft, or die. They might migrate away. They could develop into tissues other than cartilage, most commonly fibrous scar tissue.”

 

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Stem cells in the aesthetic industry: an interview with Dr. Norma Kassardjian

 

image Dr Norma Kassardjian  Stem cells in the aesthetic industry: an interview with Dr. Norma Kassardjian

Dr Norma Kassardjian. How the aesthetic industry is using stem cells

Interview conducted by April Cashin-Garbutt, BA Hons (Cantab)

Please can you give a brief introduction to stem cells?
Stem Cells are special “master” cells in your body. Stem cells are the building blocks that can replicate into other kinds of cells like blood cells, heart, muscle, blood vessels and cartilage.

Every day, your stem cells repair tissue in your body, but as one grows older the stem cell number and potency decreases.

First isolated in bone marrow, stem cells have been used for decades to regenerate healthy blood and immune cells in cancer patients through a stem cell transplant.

There are a few different types of stem cells that have been discovered and exist in umbilical cord blood and adipose tissue [fat].

Today, doctors have successfully used a patient’s own stem cells in a new field of medicine called regenerative medicine, to grow new cartilage in their knee, regenerate heart muscle after a heart attack, and even engineer new tracheas and bladders for patients with disease or injury.

How much is being spent on stem cell research?
According to statistics put forth by the National Institute of Health, the United States is spending nearly $1 billion a year on Stem cell research, and, as so far, these expenditures have resulted in incredible findings that have begun revolutionizing the medical field.

What has stem cell research revealed?
Research using mouse models has suggested that stem cells may hold the secret to curing epilepsy, boost the immune system, and even restore memory—something that doctors have been working on for years.

On top of this, research at the Mayo Clinic has shown stem cell therapy to delay or even eliminate joint replacement procedures, a revelation discovered through the stem cells’ ability to repair damaged cartilage in the hips and knees.

With all of these promising results, it is becoming clearer and clearer that we are on our way to a medical revolution, and it is stem cell research that is leading the charge.

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Making new cartilage from stem cells

stemcellsx250 Making new cartilage from stem cells

Fluorescently labeled mesenchymal stem cells in a hyaluronic acid hydrogel. Image: Megan Farrell, Univ. of Pennsylvania

Cartilage injuries have ended many athletes’ careers—including that of former two-sport star Bo Jackson—and the general wear-and-tear of the joint-cushioning tissue is something that almost everyone will endure as they age. Unfortunately, repairing cartilage remains difficult: Without blood flowing through it, cartilage has a hard time healing on its own and no chance of regenerating once it’s gone.

Bioengineers are interested in finding innovative ways to grow new cartilage from a patient’s own stem cells. A new study from Jason Burdick, an associate professor in the Dept. of Bioengineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, and Robert Mauck, an associate professor of orthopedic surgery in the Perelman School of Medicine, brings such a treatment one step closer to reality.

At the core of their approach are mesenchymal stem cells, which are an adult stem cell found in bone marrow that can differentiate into bone, fat, or cartilage. Burdick and his colleagues are interested in the environmental cues that cause these stem cells to choose one of three different paths when the body is first developing. If the right cues could be simulated, a patient could have their own mesenchymal stem cells extracted and turned into chondrocytes, which can then grow into new cartilage.

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Research Shows Way to Improve Stem Cells’ Cartilage Formation

 

Cartilage injuries are difficult to repair. Current surgical

MSC Image Research Shows Way to Improve Stem Cells’ Cartilage Formation

Fluorescently labeled mesenchymal stem cells in a hyaluronic acid hydrogel. (Photo: Megan Farrell)

options generally involve taking a piece from another part of the injured joint and patching over the damaged area, but this approach involves damaging healthy cartilage, and a person’s cartilage may still deteriorate with age.

Bioengineers are interested in finding innovative ways to grow new cartilage from a patient’s own stem cells, and, thanks to a new study from the University of Pennsylvania, such a treatment is a step closer to reality.

The research was conducted by associate professor Jason Burdick of

Burdick Mauck 300x200 Research Shows Way to Improve Stem Cells’ Cartilage Formation

Jason Burdick and Robert Mauck

the Department of Bioengineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science and associate professor Robert Mauck of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery in Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine. Liming Bian and Murat Guvendiren, members of Burdick’s lab, also took part.

It was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“The broad picture,” Burdick said, “is trying to develop new therapies to replace cartilage tissue, starting with focal defects — things like sports injuries — and then hopefully moving toward surface replacement for cartilage degradation that comes with aging. Here, we’re trying to figure out the right environment for adult stem cells to produce the best cartilage.”

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Silk and Cellulose Biologically Effective for Use in Stem Cell Cartilage Repair

May 7, 2013 — Over 20 million people in Europe suffer from osteoarthritis which can lead to extensive damage to the knee and hip cartilage. Stem cells offer a promising way forward but a key challenge has been to design a ‘smart material’ that is biologically effective for cartilage tissue regeneration. Now researchers have identified a blend of naturally occurring fibres such as cellulose and silk that makes progress towards affordable and effective cell-based therapy for cartilage repair a step closer.

The EPSRC-funded study, published inBiomacromolecules and undertaken by University of Bristol researchers, explored the feasibility of using natural fibres such as silk and cellulose as stem cell scaffolds — the matrix to which stem cells can cling to as they grow.

Both cellulose and silk are commonly used in textiles but the researchers demonstrated an unexpected use for the two natural polymers when mixed with stem cells. The team treated blends of silk and cellulose for use as a tiny scaffold that allows adult connective tissue stem cells to form into preliminary form of chondrocytes — the cells that make healthy tissue cartilage — and secrete extracellular matrix similar to natural cartilage.

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Can stem cells help those with arthritis?

Stems cells taken from just a few grams of body fat are a promising weapon against the crippling effects of osteoarthritis.
For the past two decades, knee, hip or other joint replacements have been the standard treatment for the deterioration of joint cartilage and the underlying bone. But artificial joints only last about 15 years and are difficult to repair once they fail.
Stem cell injections may offer a new type of therapy by either stopping the degenerative process or by regenerating the damaged cartilage, said pioneering researcher Dr. Farshid Guilak, a professor of orthopedic surgery and director of orthopedic research at Duke University.
Guilak, one of the first researchers to grow cartilage from fat, explains why stem cells are a bright light in osteoarthritis research and why widespread clinical use is still years away. Below is an edited transcript of the interview.

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Can stem cells help those with arthritis?

By Julie Deardorff,Stems cells taken from just a few grams of body fat are a promising weapon against the crippling effects of osteoarthritis.

For the past two decades, knee, hip or other joint replacements have been the standard treatment for the deterioration of joint cartilage and the underlying bone. But artificial joints only last about 15 years and are difficult to repair once they fail.

Stem cell injections may offer a new type of therapy by either stopping the degenerative process or by regenerating the damaged cartilage, said pioneering researcher Dr. Farshid Guilak, a professor of orthopedic surgery and director of orthopedic research at Duke University.

 Guilak, one of the first researchers to grow cartilage from fat, explains why stem cells are a bright light in osteoarthritis research and why widespread clinical use is still years away.

Read edited transcript of interview below.

Q: How are stem cell injections purported to help?

A: Several studies in animals show that stem cell injections may help by reducing the inflammation in the joint. Stem cells appear to have a natural capacity to produce anti-inflammatory molecules, and once injected in the joint, can slow down the degenerative process in osteoarthritis.

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Stem Cell Harvest Offered At Beverly Hills Plastic Surgery, Inc.

images Dr Gabriel Chu Stem Cell Harvest Offered At Beverly Hills Plastic Surgery, Inc.

Plastic Surgeon Dr. Gabriel Chiu Is Now Offering Harvest of Stem Cells From Fat Tissues During Liposuction For Cryogenic Storage

 

 

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., April 23, 2013 Imagine a future where doctors can grow new blood vessels for you when you need them, or rebuild cartilage in your knee or shoulder instead of undergoing surgery. While it sounds like science fiction, it is soon to be science fact, according to numerous medical institutions such as Wake Forest University, Stanford University, Duke and University of Texas. Stem cells, taken from a patient’s own body, are the key to regenerating many types of human tissue including heart, liver and bone.

http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130423/LA97775)

Stem cells are ‘multipotent,” which means they can reproduce to become other types of cells like soft muscle and cartilage. Using a patient’s own stem cells, doctors have successfully regenerated knee cartilage in patients with arthritis, and heart muscle for patients who have suffered damage after a heart attack. In the field of tissue engineering, doctors have ‘grown’ new bladders, tracheas and blood vessels for patients that have had disease or injury.

And the richest source of stem cells in the human body — our fat, medically known as ‘adipose tissue.”

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Early test of stem cell joint repair

Published on Monday 22 April 2013 04:44

“Disabled people could soon re-grow damaged or diseased limb joints,” said the Daily Mirror. The newspaper said that the prospect of a new technique, using people’s own stem cells rather than transplanted ones “offers hope to millions suffering crippling pain”.

The study behind this news attempted to grow new cartilage in rabbits by drawing the rabbits’ own circulating stem cells to a scaffolding of bone-like substances implanted into their shoulder joints. To assess the technique the researchers then observed the rabbits’ movement and took samples from the joint to see if new cartilage had formed. The rabbits regenerated cartilage and were soon able to bear weight.

The real test of this technology will come if it is eventually applied to humans. While the researchers have tried growing cartilage to attach to artificial joints they say that regeneration of other tissues may also be possible with their technique. However, this type of research proceeds in small steps and so it is too soon to say if this could ever be a reliable alternative to a simple artificial hip replacement in humans.

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Pune doctors use stem cells to cure cartilage defects

PUNE: Two cases of osteochondritis dissecans(OD), which have been successfully cured using new age stem cell therapy were recorded in the city recently. OD is a joint disorder, caused by blood deprivation, wherein cracks form in the articular cartilage and the underlying bone.

Common symptoms include severe pain and swelling around the ankle. In the absence of proper treatment, untreated cartilage defects may lead to arthritis.

The first patient was a 20 year old man, who after suffering from an injury on his right ankle, was left with severe swelling and pain. He then consulted shoulder and knee arthroscopysurgeon Sirish Pathak at Bhagli Clinical and Nursing who suggested him to undergo Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation (ACI), a minimally invasive two step procedure.

“A biopsy (sample) of the healthy cartilage cells was taken through an arthroscopy (keyhole surgery). The harvested biopsy was then sent to the Stem Cell Processing Centre of RMS – Regrow at Lonavla, where they were, expanded and proliferated for 3 to 4 weeks. These cultured cells were then re-implanted at the defect site,” Pathak said.

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Nanofiber Spheres Carrying Cells Injected Into Wounds to Grow Tissue

Apr. 18, 2011 — For the first time, scientists have made star-shaped, biodegradable polymers that can self-assemble into hollow, nanofiber spheres, and when the spheres are injected with cells into wounds, these spheres biodegrade, but the cells live on to form new tissue.

Developing this nanofiber sphere as a cell carrier that simulates the natural growing environment of the cell is a very significant advance in tissue repair, says Peter Ma, professor at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry and lead author of a paper about the research scheduled for advanced online publication in Nature Materials. Co-authors are Xiaohua Liu and Xiaobing Jin.
Repairing tissue is very difficult and success is extremely limited by a shortage of donor tissue, says Ma, who also has an appointment at the U-M College of Engineering. The procedure gives hope to people with certain types of cartilage injuries for which there aren’t good treatments now. It also provides a better alternative to ACI, which is a clinical method of treating cartilage injuries where the patient’s own cells are directly injected into the patient’s body.

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Pets: Stem cell therapy could benefit arthritic poodle

Stem cell therapy could benefit arthritic poodle, Bernhard Pukay writesQuestion: My eleven-year-old Standard poodle has severe arthritis in both hips and has trouble walking. We currently are giving him a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) daily to alleviate his pain. Is there anything else we could be doing? Are supplements such as glucosamine and chondriotin effective? Are there any new therapies that might benefit him?

Answer: Osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease (DJD) is the term used to describe a degenerative disease that affects the cartilage of joints and is the most common joint disorder diagnosed in dogs.

Clinically, there are two kinds of degenerative joint disease (DJD). The first kind is called “primary” and tends to occur most often in older dogs and cats, usually 10 years of age or older. As the cartilage in the joints gets older, it fails to regenerate and maintain itself, which can lead to extensive joint damage. While the exact cause for this degeneration remains unknown, it is known that daily “wear and tear”, stress to the joints, aging, genetic predisposition and other unknown factors can contribute to primary DJD. This is the kind of arthritis that your dog probably has.