Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Greater versatility of adult stem cells thanks to 3-D lab experiments

Date:
March 30, 2011
Source:
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Summary:
A type of adult stem cell is now proving itself more versatile for research and therapies thanks to revolutionary 3-D experiments. These cells have already shown great promise for repairing damaged bone and cartilage but until now have been fairly limited in the types of cells they can form in the laboratory.

A type of adult stem cell is now proving itself more versatile for research and therapies thanks to revolutionary 3D experiments. These cells have already shown great promise for repairing damaged bone and cartilage but until now have been fairly limited in the types of cells they can form in the laboratory.

Dr Paul Genever from the University of York spoke March 31 at the annual UK National Stem Cell Network science meeting. He told the gathered audience of scientists about his work to grow mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) -- currently one of the leading candidates to be used in stem cell therapies -- as tiny spheres. Under these conditions MSCs show potential to become a variety of different cell types including, possibly, the early precursors to heart muscle cells.

MSCs are common in children and adults and quite easy to find in blood, bone marrow, and many other tissues. They are already being used to repair bone in a small number of patients with severe fractures or bone disease.

Dr Genever's experiments hope to recreate the microscopic 3D environment that stem cells would normally occupy inside our bodies and so give an accurate approximation of the factors that might influence the ability of MSCs to eventually produce different types of cell for regenerative medicine.

Dr Genever said "In the past we've grown MSCs in 2D layers in the lab and they are only really strongly inclined to become bone, fat or cartilage -- they are very useful for research and therapy, but in both cases would largely be limited to these three cell types.

"Our 3D technique aims to recreate the nutrients, oxygen levels and mechanical forces that these cells would normally experience inside our bodies. By growing the cells as 3D spheres of microscopic size instead of in a 2D layer, they specialise their roles more rapidly and more completely and also appear to be able to become a greater range of cell types. This shows that they are quite a bit more versatile than we thought and so are a very exciting prospect for the use of these cells in therapies."

The spheres used are made of aggregates of MSCs and are tiny, measuring only 200-300 micrometers across -- about half the size of a dust mite. Within these spheres it is possible to monitor the effects of interactions between several cells and between cells and other supporting structures. The MSCs can also be combined with other types of cells that they would usually be associated with such as endothelial cells, which are found on the surfaces of blood vessels.

Professor Douglas Kell, Chief Executive, BBSRC said "Stem cells are a vital part of normal development and healthy repair. Stem cell biology is subtle and complicated and this discovery will help to ensure that results from laboratory experiments offer a good approximation of what is happening with stem cells under normal circumstances inside humans and other animals."

The work is funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and Smith & Nephew.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. "Greater versatility of adult stem cells thanks to 3-D lab experiments." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110330214718.htm>.
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. (2011, March 30). Greater versatility of adult stem cells thanks to 3-D lab experiments. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110330214718.htm
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. "Greater versatility of adult stem cells thanks to 3-D lab experiments." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110330214718.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A U.S. doctor has tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus, as the worst-ever outbreak continues to grow. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins