Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UCLA researchers transform stem cells found in human fat into smooth muscle cells

25.07.2006
Impact on tissue engineering for intestine, bladder and vascular systems

Researchers from the David Geffen School of Medicine and the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science at UCLA today announced they have transformed adult stem cells taken from human adipose – or fat tissue – into smooth muscle cells, which help the normal function of a multitude of organs like the intestine, bladder and arteries. The study may help lead to the use of fat stem cells for smooth muscle tissue engineering and repair.

Reported in the July 24 online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study is one of the first to show that stem cells derived from adipose tissue can be changed to acquire the physical and biochemical characteristics as well as the functionality of smooth muscle cells.

Smooth muscle cells are found within the human body in the walls of hollow organs like blood vessels, bladder, and intestines and contract and expand to help transport blood, urine, and waste through the body's systems.

"Fat tissue may prove a reliable source of smooth muscle cells that we can use to regenerate and repair damaged organs," said Dr. Larissa V. Rodriguez, principal investigator and assistant professor, Department of Urology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

Rodriguez and her team first cultured the adipose-derived stem cells in a growth factor cocktail that encouraged the cells to transform into smooth muscle cells. Researchers observed the genetic expression and development of proteins, which are specific to this type of cell. So it looked like a smooth muscle cell, but would it act like one?

The next step required testing functionality to see if the cells would expand and contract like smooth muscle tissue. Rodriguez turned to associate professor of bioengineering Dr. Benjamin Wu at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science for help.

Wu's team developed a special device to evaluate the cells' ability to contract by tracking movement of microbeads dispersed in a collagen gel embedded with the cells. Researchers added different pharmacologic agents known to cause contraction or relaxation in smooth muscle.

"We found that the cells did indeed function just like smooth muscle," said Wu. "The new device allowed us to evaluate drug-induced changes in the physical properties of smooth muscle at the cell level – previously we've needed tissue samples to observe this phenomena."

To make sure they could reproduce the smooth muscle cells and to confirm the transformation, Rodriguez and her team cloned one of the primitive stem cells from the adipose tissue and repeated the experiments on a cloned population of cells with similar results.

"We wanted to make sure it wasn't an isolated case or particular conditions in the cell cultures that allowed us to create or select out already existing smooth muscle cells," said Rodriguez, also a member of the UCLA Stem Cell Institute. "We are surprised and pleased with the results and are excited about future applications."

Rodriguez notes the many advantages of using a patient's own fat stem cells for organ re-growth and tissue regeneration, including no need for anti-rejection medications. In patients with a diseased or absent organ, who cannot use their own organ tissue for regeneration, adipose stem cells offer an alternative.

Smooth muscle cells have also been produced from stem cells found in the brain and bone marrow, but acquiring stem cells from adipose tissue is much easier and most patients have adipose tissue readily available, according to Rodriguez.

The next step, she adds, involves identifying and developing the growth factors that will induce transformation of cells more quickly. She is also starting to use smooth muscle cells for tissue engineering in the urinary tract, including the urethra.

Rachel Champeau | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mednet.ucla.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria
23.05.2017 | Rice University

nachricht Discovery of an alga's 'dictionary of genes' could lead to advances in biofuels, medicine
23.05.2017 | University of California - Los Angeles

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

Im Focus: Bacteria harness the lotus effect to protect themselves

Biofilms: Researchers find the causes of water-repelling properties

Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

Innovation 4.0: Shaping a humane fourth industrial revolution

17.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientists propose synestia, a new type of planetary object

23.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria

23.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Medical gamma-ray camera is now palm-sized

23.05.2017 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>