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Clinical trial under way to test how stem cells regenerate knee cartilage

A groundbreaking randomized clinical trial (RCT) evaluating the use of a patient’s own stem cells to regenerate knee cartilage is underway at Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine in Gulf Breeze, Florida. The study, led by Adam Anz, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon at Andrews Institute, is the first multicenter Phase II United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) observed RCT of its kind.

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Stem cells show promise in treating asthma

A study led by scientists at Monash University has shown that a new therapy developed through stem cell technology holds promise as a treatment for chronic asthma.

The Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI) scientists provided the experimental expertise to test Cynata Therapeutics’ induced pluripotent stem cell-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in a model of experimental asthma. Induced pluripotent stem cells are a type of pluripotent stem cell that can be generated directly from adult cells; they have the ability to be differentiated into a variety of tissue types and, in this case, MSCs that can regenerate damaged lung tissue.

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Bioengineered human livers mimic natural development

An international team of researchers bioengineering human liver tissues uncovered previously unknown networks of genetic-molecular crosstalk that control the organ’s developmental processes – greatly advancing efforts to generate healthy and usable human liver tissue from human pluripotent stem cells.

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Clinical trials using embryonic stem cells to begin in China

A clinical trial scheduled to begin in the next few months will be the first in China to use human embryonic stem (ES) cells, and the first one worldwide aimed at treating Parkinson’s disease using ES cells from fertilized embryos. In a second trial starting around the same time, a different team in China will use ES cells to target vision loss caused by age-related macular degeneration.

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One Gene Closer to Regenerative Therapy for Muscular Disorders

A detour on the road to regenerative medicine for people with muscular disorders is figuring out how to coax muscle stem cells to fuse together and form functioning skeletal muscle tissues. A study published June 1 in Nature Communications reports scientists identify a new gene essential to this process, shedding new light on possible new therapeutic strategies.

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Stem cells might help repair damaged intervertebral discs

If the fibrocartilage tissue in the spine degenerates over time, an intervertebral disc – the “shock absorber” between the vertebrae of the spine – can “slip,” pinching the medulla or nerves. The consequences include intense pain or even paralysis.

Not just people, but dogs, too, are susceptible to this disease. Since intervertebral discs cannot regenerate, the affected disc material is removed in an operation that can be performed on both people and animals. The pressure on the nerves and medulla disappears, but the degeneration of the disc remains.

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Scientists turn human IPS cells into lung cells

Human lungs, like all organs, begin their existence as clumps of undifferentiated stem cells. But in a matter of months, the cells get organized. They gather together, branch and bud, some forming airways and others alveoli, the delicate sacs where our bodies exchange oxygen for carbon dioxide. The ideal end result: two healthy, breathing lungs.

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Researchers report success in 3D bioprinting of cartilage

A team of researchers at the University of Gothenburg’s Sahlgrenska Academy has managed to generate cartilage tissue by printing stem cells using a 3D bioprinter. The fact that the stem cells survived being printed in this manner is a success in itself. In addition, the research team was able to influence the cells to multiply and differentiate to form chondrocytes (cartilage cells) in the printed structure.

The findings have been published in Scientific Reports. The research is being conducted in collaboration with a team at the Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, who are experts in the 3D printing of biological materials. Orthopedic researchers from Kungsbacka are also involved in the collaboration.

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Technology helps preserve fertility of boys with cancer

Researchers have found a promising way to preserve sperm stem cells so boys can undergo cancer treatment without risking their fertility.

Adult men can have their sperm frozen before undergoing radiation or chemotherapy, both of which can render sperm infertile. But boys who haven’t been through puberty can only have sperm stem cells removed and frozen in anticipation of technology that could culture the cells and place them back in the testes, where they produce sperm after puberty.

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3D-printed patch can help mend a ‘broken’ heart

A team of biomedical engineering researchers has created a revolutionary 3D-bioprinted patch that can help heal scarred heart tissue after a heart attack. The discovery is a major step forward in treating patients with tissue damage after a heart attack.

The research study was published recently in Circulation Research, a journal published by the American Heart Association (AHA). Researchers have filed a patent on the discovery.

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