Monthly Archives: June 2011

Stem Cell Transplantation Offers ‘Sea Of Opportunity’ For Treating Debilitating Diseases

An article in the current issue of Technology & Innovation, Proceedings of the National Academy of Inventors ™reports on the bright future and enormous need for stem cell therapeutics that may offer hope for those suffering from debilitating and deadly diseases.

Stem cell transplantation may offer therapy through “simple cell replacement” procedures to restructure damaged organs, tissues and cells, or provide methods for “reawakening” biological cues to regenerate cells.

“The future for stem cell applications is indeed promising, although there are no assurances that cures will be found,” said corresponding author Dr. John Sladek, a professor of the University of Colorado College of Medicine’s Departments of Neurology and Pediatrics. “However, there is scientific consensus that time and innovation, combined with a dose of serendipity, will lead to the cures people deserve.”

According to Dr. Sladek and co-author Dr. Kimberly Bjugstad, also from the UC Department of Pediatrics, the need for stem cell therapies (based on two categories of stem cells, embryonic stem cells (ESCs), able to differentiate into many kinds of cells (pluripotent), and adult (somatic) stem cells, less capable of high differentiation) – corresponds to many of the diseases most responsible for mortality. The list of potential stem cell therapy targets includes: cardiovascular diseases, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injury and autoimmune diseases, including diabetes.

“One of the key, and as yet unanswered questions in cell-based therapeutics, is when in the course of human illness to intervene,” said Dr. Sladek. “Traditional wisdom suggests that sooner is better.”

Based on their research, Dr. Sladek and his fellow researchers suggest that younger patients with the shortest Parkinson’s disease duration, for example, are more suitable for cell transplantations than patients who have suffered with the disease for a decade or longer. The less damaged brain, he said, is more receptive to new cells that function to protect and preserve remaining neurons.

Progress is great, yet scientific challenges to creating new cell-based therapies must be overcome one-by-one.

“Much more is to be learned about reprogramming cells,” pointed out Dr. Sladek. “For example, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) are a third source of stem cells. These cells can be reprogrammed in the laboratory to be self-renewing and pluripotent, but in some cases resist reprogramming or retain a genetic memory that may be a complication.”

Besides scientific challenges, political challenges to stem cell transplantation persist as well. Despite on-and-off-again bans on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research in the U.S., to the discovery of increasingly more utility in the use of adult stem cells derived from bone marrow, fat cells and liver cells, research in the U.S. is moving forward at great speed as more animal model-based research is leading to human clinical trials.

“It is unlikely that all patients will benefit from cell-based therapies,” concluded Dr. Sladek. “Factors related to patient selection need careful consideration, especially concerning stage and severity of disease, the patient’s prior therapies, and the need for immunosuppression as well as many other factors.”

Source:
Randolph Fillmore
University of South Florida (USF Health)


Stem Cells from Teeth?

I found a company called RenovoCyte and they’re doing some interesting things with teeth!

Renovocyte helps put the power of stem cell therapy for regenerative medicine in your hands.

It is now well known that umbilical cord blood is a rich source of blood and immune system forming stem cells. Cord blood stem cell banks can provide an invaluable service to those afflicted with leukemia and immune disorders*. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) encourages families to donate their newborn’s cord blood, which is normally discarded at birth, to cord blood banks (if accessible in their area) for use by other individuals in need, and while the AAP does recommend private cord blood banking for parents who have an older child with a condition that could potentially benefit from transplantation, such as a genetic immunodeficiency, storing cord blood at private banks for later personal or family use as a general “insurance policy” is discouraged. The chances of a child needing his or her own cord blood stem cells in the future are estimated to range from one in 1,000 to one in 200,000.

Why tooth stem cells?

Recent studies investigating dental pulp have indicated the presence of an exciting new source of non controversial stem cells. These studies have indicated that these cells may have the potential to be utilized in stem cell mediated therapies as well as tissue engineering applications. Unlike the stem cells typically derived from umbilical cord blood, which are usually used to replace bone marrow, these tooth derived “multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells” (MSC) or “tissue stem cells” appear to be able to develop into many different tissues including, bone, cartilage and even neural tissue. Also, unlike umbilical cord blood derived cells, these stem cells are of greatest potential benefit to the original donor, and can be expanded in the laboratory to create many available doses. To allow potential therapeutic use of these cells, Renovocyte, LLC was developed to capitalize on our group’s unique understanding and experience with this material, specifically with respect to processing, preservation and storage. While cells can be recovered from exfoliated or “baby” teeth, this procedure is very inefficient. The most efficient source of tooth stem cells is extracted 3rd molars or “wisdom teeth”. Our optimized processing method allows for efficient recovery of stem cells from fresh tissue which can then be tested for safety and purity and cryopreserved, and then expanded and used many times as needed for future procedures. Our group developed these procedures through National Institutes of Health grants1 and our methods have been published in peer reviewed scientific journals2,3.
Renovocyte’s services are extremely easy to use. The stem cells come from teeth that are otherwise being extracted, so there is no extra procedure involved. This means dental stem cell banking is one of least expensive and noninvasive ways to access and bank your own stem cells for future use.

*for private umbilical cord blood banking, please visit www.thegenesisbank.com.


Biobanking Service

I saw this post today from General Biotechnology and it really caught my eye. They listed their quality standards and precautions. I don’t know how many other companies use this kind of redundent system but I’m pretty impressed with the way they handle their cord blood storage tanks.

 

Using state of the art equipment and alarm monitors, you can feel assured that your specimens are safe.

 

We offer bulk storage rates as well as individual sample storage rates for the most cost effective solution to your needs.

  • 2-8°C (Refrigerated)
  • -20°C (Freezer)
  • -80°C (Ultra-low freezer)
  • -196°C (Cryogenic)

In addition to fully automated alarms and fill systems, all our cryo storage units are checked daily by visual inspection of nitrogen levels and temperature to ensure the highest in quality control.
Secure, Compliant Storage

  • The operation of all freezers and refrigerators is routinely monitored and the temperature of each storage unit is recorded continuously. All freezers have alarms that notify personnel in the event that expected temperature ranges are exceeded. All freezer units relay temperature readings via thermocouple sensors to a centralized server and managed with our environmental monitoring software.
  • FDA 21 CFR Part 11 compliant Elpro LP4 dataloggers allowing web based temperature monitoring
  • Readings are recorded every 10 minutes and any out of range temperature recordings prompt the system to actively notify key biorepository personnel, instantly. If not on site, key personnel are alerted via a SENSAPHONE system. Corrective action is taken in accordance with the corresponding standard operating procedures.
  • All ultra low freezers have LN2 Back-Up Systems and GBT has critical emergency SOPs and emergency contracts with liquid nitrogen vendors.
  • Diesel Back-up power system
  • Secure-Access Facility and Laboratories with secured VPN access
  • cGTP validated sample management software allowing multiple label trackin
  • General BioTechnology and subsidiary companies offer regulatory Compliance through leading Industry and Association certifications.

 

Transportation of Human Cells and Tissues

 

General BioTechnology LLC is capable of transporting cryopreserved human cells and tissues virtually anywhere around the world. We ship primarily with nitrogen vapor shippers, which are designed for the safe transportation of biological samples at cryogenic temperatures.

 

Samples are shipped with temperature monitors to ensure safe arrival of an effective product. Shipments are closely tracked from inception to delivery, ensuring that your materials arrive at their designated location in a safe and timely manner.
Worldwide Shipping and Logistics

  • Next day release of samples
  • Extensive relationship with local carriers
  • Location close to Fedex and UPS facilities
I’m very impressed with this service! It seems they really set a great standard that gives me the piece of mind that any parent would when they’re storing their child’s cord blood.

Welcome!

This is the first of what I hope to be many posts concerning recent trends in stem cell therapy.

My goal here is to share knowledge. The stem cell industry is constantly seeking new and innovative techniques to further research and application of stem cells.

So, I’m glad that you stopped by for what I hope will be a long and exciting journey!