Bone Grown Successfully from Human Embryonic Stem Cells

 

In a study published in the online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), researchers have been successful in using the bone progenitor cells obtained from the human embryonic germ cells to grow bone. The compact bone thus grown was in sufficient quantities to plug and repair bone defects up to a centimeter. The study was carried out by the New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) Laboratory under the leadership of Dr. Darja Marolt. The study, for the first time showed that human embryonic stem cells can be used to grow bone tissue grafts. The latter may be used in research and have immense potential therapeutic benefits.
 
The researchers could successfully implant this bone graft into mice in laboratory conditions. The implant allowed the growth of new blood vessels in it and continued to develop into a normal bone. The newly developed bone resembled the normal bone and did not show any increased incidence of bone tumor.
 
Dr. Marolt has also been successful in developing bone grafts from induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. Unlike embryonic stem cells, iPS cells are produced from adult cells. They are therefore individualized to each patient. Like embryonic stem cells, they can also give rise to almost any type of body cells. But since they are individualized, they offer an advantage over the embryonic stem cells. They are superior in the sense that being personalized, the chances of immune rejection and other implant complications are far less compared to embryonic stem cells. The use of pluripotent stem cells is a giant leap forward in the history of bone grafting. The procedure of bone grafting is important in treating birth defects, and in patients with traumatic bone injury like in wounded soldiers and other accidental cases.
 
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Date: 
Sunday, October 12, 2014