New plastic surfaces can efficiently cultivate stem cells

According to the BBC on July 17, British scientists have developed a new plastic surface that could better cultivate more adult stem cells. Scientists hope to design better stem cell therapies to regenerate bone and tissue and treat conditions such as arthritis. The latest research is in the journal Nature Materials Science.

The latest "nano-graphic" surfaces, which are covered with tiny pits and pockmarks, are made using the method used to make blu-ray discs. Matthew dolby, a tissue engineer at the university of Glasgow in the UK, who led the research, and Richard o 'reef, head of musculoskeletal research at the university of Southampton, said the surface helped stem cells grow and spread more effectively into useful cells for treatment.

Currently, adult stem cells taken from patients by scientists are grown in the laboratory until enough stem cells are produced to start the process of cell regeneration, and then the stem cells are retransplanted into the patient. However, standard plastic tissue surfaces, which are now widely used, face difficulties in growing more adult stem cells and maintaining their useful properties. The stem cells grown on them do not always produce new stem cells, but other cells that are not useful for treatment. Scientists have had to inject stem cells into a chemical solution to allow them to expand, but this approach is inefficient.

"The new nanostructured surfaces can be used to efficiently grow mesenchymal stem cells derived from tissues and organs such as bone marrow," dolby said.

The team is working on how to make the new plastic surface on a large scale. They are also using the same method to grow other types of stem cells, which, if successful, could lead to large-scale stem-cell factories that would allow scientists to treat conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, alzheimer's and Parkinson's more effectively, dolby said.
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