Stem cells are remarkable for the promise they hold to regenerate diseased or otherwise compromised organs and tissue in the body. At the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, researchers at the Barshop Institute of Aging and Longevity Studies are particularly focused on how a patient's own stem cells can be used to treat degeneration caused by aging, such as bone loss. Proprietary cells (i.e. ones from your own body) are the best biological match for therapies to treat you, but the problem is that they're too mature and therefore much less effective than young cells in transforming themselves into new and useful parts. Some people have begun to bank cells from birth, such as those from the umbilical cord, for a child's future need. For the rest of us, there is the very real possibility of coaxing our own older stem cells into a more youthful, robust, and potent state by growing them on a younger scaffold.
This rejuvenating of mature cells' youthful potential is precisely what Dr. Xiao-Dong Chen, a stem cell researcher at the UT Health Science Center and his colleagues are doing, with success in a recent mouse model. Briefly, they showed that older pluripotent stem cells cultured in a young extracellular matrix (ECM, a scaffold of connective tissue, such as collagen, common in the body), produced cells that, when reintroduced into the mouse body for bone therapy, were as effective at regrowth as younger cells.
What this opens up for an aging population is the possibility of banking one's own cells in a young ECM and having them available to reintroduce into our own bodies to counteract degeneration caused by aging.
UTHSC is currently recruiting two new research faculty members for its Center for Healthy Aging.
Biotechnology Calendar Inc. will hold its 10th Annual San Antonio BioResearch Product Faire™ event on the UTHSC campus on September 27, 2012. For information on exhibiting, click the button below:
Biotechnology Calendar, Inc. is a full-service event marketing and planning company producing on-campus life science research tradeshows nationwide for going on 19 years. We plan and promote each event to bring the best products and services to the best research campuses across the country. Life science researchers, purchasing agents, and lab managers are actively invited to attend to see the latest products and equipment and discuss their laboratory tool and service needs. See our nationwide show schedule for 2012.