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Leukemia treatment given shot in the arm by artificial bone marrow development

RATE THIS! +53
Posted in Science on 15th Jan, 2014 01:05 AM by AlexMuller

European researchers have announced a breakthrough in the development of artificial bone marrow which expands the ability of scientists to reproduce stem cells in the lab and could lead to increased availability of treatment for leukemia sufferers. A treatment for the blood cancer is injecting hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs).

 

These HSCs can either be harvested from a compatible donor or cultivated from the patient’s own bone marrow in the lab.

 
The greatest challenges in producing HSCs in the lab has been their limited longevity outside of the bone marrow environment. This problem may soon be circumvented with the creation of an artificial bone marrow by the Young Investigators Group for Stem Cell– Material Interactions.
 
Headed by Dr. Cornelia Lee-Thedieck the group consists of scientists from the KIT Institute of Functional Interfaces (IFG), the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Stuttgart, and Tübingen University.
 
The cultivation of HSCs with current methods is limited as they quickly change into mature blood cells in culture in a process known as differentiation. HSCs are capable of developing into one of 10 different cell types. These mature cells are short lived and are not capable of self-renewal. HSCs, however, can continuously self-renew in healthy bone marrow. So the challenge facing researchers has been creating a surrogate for bone marrow in the lab which allows for the cultivation of HSCs.
 
Using macroporous hydrogel scaffolds the Young Investigators Group produced a substance that mimics the spongy structure of trabecular bone, the material within bone where bone marrow is held. To this hydrogel architecture a number of proteins found in bone marrow were added for the HSCs to bind to. Other conditions important for HSC self-renewal in trabecular bone were also created by adding mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) from bone marrow and umbilical cord.

Tags: healthcancerbone marrowstem cellsleukemia

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Comments

Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-01-15
+3
This is a good progress in producing and delivering stem cells for treatment of leukaemia. The next step should further evaluation and hopefully clinical trials
7 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-01-15
+1
Yes, this is all about new materials and further development in this direction. The research will need to identify how the behavior of stem cells can be manipulated by synthetic materials. They need the next ten to fifteen years to develop an artificial environment for the reproduction of stem cells and the treatment of leukemia.
Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-01-15
+0
Yes, this was great news! Indeed the greatest impact of cancer on overall state for a patient is the extent of metastasis, how many and where they go. Stopping cancer spreading is an important goal Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-01-15
+1
I wish researchers involved loads of luck. But many promising treatments never made it beyond a petri dish and mice. Also, unless it shows truly amazing and early results with no side effects, it's 10 years minimum away from final approval. Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-01-15
+0
So far the evidence suggests the system has no knock-on effect for the immune system and does not damage other blood cells or the lining of blood vessels. Good start Reply
Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-01-15
+1
We had a number improvement in cancer treatments due to improvements in materials and nanothechnology. This is an important area of research Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-01-15
+3
Stem cell research is very important. Scientists have been able to successfully transform human stem cells into different types of cells such as nerve, retina and blood cells. Some types of cells need more work.
5 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-01-15
+2
It was just recently that researchers have successfully reprogrammed adult cells in a living animal for the first time, creating stem cells that have the ability to grow into any tissue found in the body. Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-01-15
+0
Usually induced pluripotent stem cells are created in Petri dishes in the laboratory after being removed from the animal Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-01-15
+2
This raises the hope that damaged organs could be repaired in patients by reprogramming some of their own adult cells and then encouraging them to generate new tissue.
2 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-01-15
+0
Lung stem cells are difficult. Stem cells that will produce lung cells would clearly need more research and attention. Considering some serious lung diseases, they should have important application Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-01-15
+0
It may take anywhere from 5 to 10 years to come up with a bioengineered lung ready for transplantation Reply
Reply
Reply


 

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