The new plastic surface can efficiently be used to grow stem cells
According to the BBC website on July 17, British scientists have developed a new plastic surface that can better grow more adult stem cells. Scientists hope to develop 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 "nanoscale" surface, which is pockmarked with tiny pits, is made using a process used to make blu-ray discs. Matthew dolby, a tissue engineer at the university of Glasgow, and Richard o 'rifou, head of the muscle-bone science research department at the university of Southampton, who led the research, said the surface helped stem cells grow and spread in pairs to treat useful cells more effectively.
Currently, scientists grow adult stem cells from patients in the lab until enough stem cells are produced to start the process of cell regeneration, and then retransplant the stem cells back into the patient. However, standard plastic tissue surfaces, which are now widely used, face difficulties growing more adult stem cells and maintaining their useful properties. The stem cells planted on them do not always produce new stem cells, but other cells that are not useful for treatment. Scientists have to inject stem cells into a chemical solution to allow them to expand, but this is inefficient.
"The new nanostructured surfaces can be used to efficiently grow mesenchymal stem cells from tissues and organs such as bone marrow, which scientists can then use in skeletal muscle systems and connective tissue," Dolbe said.
The team is studying how to make the new plastic surface on a large scale. Dolby said they are using the same method to grow other types of stem cells, and that if successful, it could lead to large-scale stem-cell plants that would allow scientists to more effectively treat conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
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