Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New U of T strategy will boost cord blood stem cells

19.10.2005


Therapeutic use for umbilical cord blood may broaden



A team of bioengineers led by the University of Toronto has discovered a way to increase the yield of stem cells from umbilical cord blood, to an extent which could broaden therapeutic use of these cells.

In a paper published in the October issue of Experimental Hematology, researchers working in the University of Toronto’s Stem Cell Bioengineering Laboratory have identified an important component blocking the growth of stem cells. U of T scientists discovered stem cells in 1961, and for about two decades researchers around the world have been searching for a way to expand the number of stem cells harvested from umbilical cord blood, which can be used instead of bone marrow for transplantation into patients with blood cancers.


"It’s been very hard to grow blood stem cells at all," says Professor Peter W. Zandstra of the University of Toronto’s Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, and head of the laboratory in which the research was conducted. "We’ve tried to understand how those cells talk to each other, and by controlling that, trying to get the ones we want to grow better."

In any culture, blood stem cells are very rare, Zandstra explains: typically less than one in 100 cells. "If you want to grow that one cell among the other cells that are more aggressive, you have to target that cell."

The research team developed a way to remove the non-stem cells – differentiated cells, or "lineage-positive" cells – to create an environment that allows stem cells to grow better. "A mature [lineage-positive] cell expresses markers of differentiated lineages, and a stem cell is typically negative for these markers," Zandstra says. "So we removed the lineage-positive cells. They secrete molecules, or cytokines, which inhibit growth of stem cells. So, by removing them, we’re making the environment better for stem cells."

Typically, the umbilical cord does not yield a large volume of stem cells – perhaps enough to treat a child, but rarely an adult. The new research findings may allow new cord-blood stem cells to be developed in the laboratory – enough to treat adult patients as well as children. The major use of blood stem cells is for transplantation into patients with leukemia and other blood-borne cancers.

From their studies in mice, the researchers know that new stem cells obtained through their expansion technology can engraft in bone marrow and maintain special properties such as the ability to migrate in the body.

The researchers have further refined their system by developing a "bioreactor" – a vessel in which to grow the stem cells in a closed and controlled environment, away from environmental contaminants.

"The hope is that very soon, if the results are the same with the bioreactor as they were with our experiments to date, we will move to clinical trials," says Zandstra – ideally within the next year.

Elizabeth Raymer | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.utoronto.ca

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht At last, butterflies get a bigger, better evolutionary tree
16.02.2018 | Florida Museum of Natural History

nachricht New treatment strategies for chronic kidney disease from the animal kingdom
16.02.2018 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

Im Focus: Autonomous 3D scanner supports individual manufacturing processes

Let’s say the armrest is broken in your vintage car. As things stand, you would need a lot of luck and persistence to find the right spare part. But in the world of Industrie 4.0 and production with batch sizes of one, you can simply scan the armrest and print it out. This is made possible by the first ever 3D scanner capable of working autonomously and in real time. The autonomous scanning system will be on display at the Hannover Messe Preview on February 6 and at the Hannover Messe proper from April 23 to 27, 2018 (Hall 6, Booth A30).

Part of the charm of vintage cars is that they stopped making them long ago, so it is special when you do see one out on the roads. If something breaks or...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fingerprints of quantum entanglement

16.02.2018 | Information Technology

'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers

16.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Hubble sees Neptune's mysterious shrinking storm

16.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>