Bones from blood: scientists aim to break new ground on fractures
Scientists at the University of York have launched a new research project which aims to develop ways of making bones from blood.
Researchers from the University’s Department of Biology are heading the EC-backed project to create bone structures from cord blood stem cells for use in the repair of bone defects and fractures.
The three-year €2.5 million research project involves scientists in the UK and across Europe, as well as academics from the University of York’s Departments of Sociology and Philosophy, who will carry out sociological and ethical evaluations of the work. The project will seek to find a viable new medical use for the two million units of cord blood banked in Europe, and currently used for transfusions and treating leukaemia.
Biologist Dr Paul Genever, who is co-ordinating the project, said: “The mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in cord blood appear similar to bone marrow stem cells but they are hard to locate. We aim to isolate and expand them so we have enough cells to use in therapies.
“We also want to compare them with bone marrow and embryonic stem cells and investigate how we can turn them into bone structures for use as 3D bone replacements.”
Dr Genever said if the creation of bone structures from stem cells proves viable, it might be used for cell-based therapies to repair bone defects and fractures. Ultimately, bone structures developed in this way could be used to make hip replacements more durable.
“The participation of colleagues from Sociology and Philosophy in a project such as this offers the opportunity for us to explore a more ethically and socially integrated kind of biology,” he added.
Professor Andrew Webster and Dr Nik Brown, of the Science and Technology Studies Unit (SATSU) in the Department of Sociology, will link the scientific questions of MSC isolation and expansion to the wider environment and define potential barriers and areas of weakness in their use. They will consider questions such as safety and standards, commercial viability, potential investment, consensus amongst scientists and clinical distribution.
Dr Stephen Holland and Professor Tom Baldwin, of the Department of Philosophy, will carry out an ethical evaluation of the research. This will include making sure that the project is conducted according to the highest standards of research governance. They will also investigate how the project contributes to the debate about the ethics of stem cell research. In particular, they will consider how potential benefits of these stem cell therapies can be weighed against ethical concerns."
David Garner | alfa
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.
For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...
What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.
To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...
A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes
The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....
Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through
A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...
Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision
Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...