Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Stem-cell-growing surface enables bone repair

24.05.2012
University of Michigan researchers have proven that a special surface, free of biological contaminants, allows adult-derived stem cells to thrive and transform into multiple cell types. Their success brings stem cell therapies another step closer.

To prove the cells' regenerative powers, bone cells grown on this surface were then transplanted into holes in the skulls of mice, producing four times as much new bone growth as in the mice without the extra bone cells.

An embryo's cells really can be anything they want to be when they grow up: organs, nerves, skin, bone, any type of human cell. Adult-derived "induced" stem cells can do this and better. Because the source cells can come from the patient, they are perfectly compatible for medical treatments.

In order to make them, Paul Krebsbach, professor of biological and materials sciences at the U-M School of Dentistry, said, "We turn back the clock, in a way. We're taking a specialized adult cell and genetically reprogramming it, so it behaves like a more primitive cell."

Specifically, they turn human skin cells into stem cells. Less than five years after the discovery of this method, researchers still don't know precisely how it works, but the process involves adding proteins that can turn genes on and off to the adult cells.

Before stem cells can be used to make repairs in the body, they must be grown and directed into becoming the desired cell type. Researchers typically use surfaces of animal cells and proteins for stem cell habitats, but these gels are expensive to make, and batches vary depending on the individual animal.

"You don't really know what's in there," said Joerg Lahann associate professor of chemical engineering and biomedical engineering.

For example, he said that human cells are often grown over mouse cells, but they can go a little native, beginning to produce some mouse proteins that may invite an attack by a patient's immune system.

The polymer gel created by Lahann and his colleagues in 2010 avoids these problems because researchers are able to control all of the gel's ingredients and how they combine.

"It's basically the ease of a plastic dish," said Lahann. "There is no biological contamination that could potentially influence your human stem cells."

Lahann and colleagues had shown that these surfaces could grow embryonic stem cells. Now, Lahann has teamed up with Krebsbach's team to show that the polymer surface can also support the growth of the more medically promising induced stem cells, keeping them in their high-potential state. To prove that the cells could transform into different types, the team turned them into fat, cartilage and bone cells.

They then tested whether these cells could help the body to make repairs. Specifically, they attempted to repair five-millimeter holes in the skulls of mice. The weak immune systems of the mice didn't attack the human bone cells, allowing the cells to help fill in the hole.

After eight weeks, the mice that had received the bone cells had 4.2 times as much new bone, as well as the beginnings of marrow cavities. The team could prove that the extra bone growth came from the added cells because it was human bone.

"The concept is not specific to bone," said Krebsbach. "If we truly develop ways to grow these cells without mouse or animal products, eventually other scientists around the world could generate their tissue of interest."

In the future, Lahann's team wants to explore using their gel to grow stem cells and specialized cells in different physical shapes, such as a bone-like structure or a nerve-like microfiber.

The paper reporting this work is titled "Derivation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells from Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Cultured on Synthetic Substrates" and it appears in the June edition of the journal Stem Cells. The university is pursuing patent protection for the intellectual property and is seeking commercialization partners to help bring the technology to market.

Krebsbach is also the Roy H. Roberts Professor of Dentistry and a professor of biomedical engineering. Lahann is also associate professor of materials sciences and engineering, associate professor of macromolecular sciences and engineering, and the director of the Biointerfaces Institute.

Kate McAlpine | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.umich.edu

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supersensitive through quantum entanglement

28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy under real ambient pressure conditions

28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Mice provide insight into genetics of autism spectrum disorders

28.06.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>