Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Reprogrammable skin stem cells in a test-tube

20.12.2016

New system could reduce number of animal experiments

To develop new treatments for skin cancer, drugs need to be tested on animals. Now scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing in Cologne have been able to grow mouse skin stem cells in a dish. These stem cells in a test-tube could reduce the number of animal experiments.


Immunofluorescent image of hair follicle stem cells grown in a petri dish.

Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing

Wounds need to heal and dead hairs need to be replaced. Responsible for this are the so-called hair follicle stem cells in our skin. These stem cells can mature into all the different cell types in the skin epidermis. If they are out of control skin cancer can develop.

“We wanted to develop a system to study hair follicle stem cells in the skin and their role in cancer development”, explains Carlos Andrés Chacón-Martínez, a scientist in the group of Sara Wickström at the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing in Cologne. “Usually we need to use model organisms, such as mice. But it requires a large number of animals and years to study. With our new method we can readily investigate these stem cells in a petri dish in short periods. As a result we don’t need that many animals anymore.”

Reprograming of cells back into stem cells

To grow hair follicle stem cells in a petri dish the researchers initially need to extract skin cells from mice and place them in a three-dimensional gel made of proteins normally found in the skin. To stimulate cell growth the scientists added different factors, which regulate cell growth and survival. The hair follicle stem cells were able to survive for long time in the dish.

Studies of the Cologne scientists revealed that the 3D environment and the specific growth-promoting factors could even reprogram already differentiated cells back into stem cells, revealing that these cells are much more flexible and dynamic than was previously thought. “Now we are able to mimic the properties of the skin in the petri dish. We can study how the cells behave, when we, for example, irradiate them with UV light, instead of irradiating living mice. This culture system is a powerful tool to design and test interventions that might delay ageing and prevent cancer”, explains Chacón-Martínez.

Human skin

Now the researchers are adapting the system to human cells. “Growing human hair follicle stem cells with our method is likely to have important implications in regenerative medicine. Modern medicine is already able to grow and transplant human skin, but this is hairless. Maybe we could help bald men to regrow hair”, says Chacón-Martínez.

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.age.mpg.de

Dr. Maren Berghoff | Max-Planck-Institut für Biologie des Alterns

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Microscope measures muscle weakness
16.11.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

nachricht Good preparation is half the digestion
16.11.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Stoffwechselforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'

16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

Good preparation is half the digestion

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Microscope measures muscle weakness

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>