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Revolutionary Procedure Could Turn the Page on Stem Cells
Doctors who enroll in stem cell therapy training courses through the Advanced Regenerative Medicine Institute (ARMI), learn cutting-edge techniques for using autologous stem cells to treat orthopedic injuries.
ARMI also train doctors to use PRP therapy for both aesthetic and orthopedic applications. That being said, ARMI’s training could look radically different in the future if a revolutionary procedure developed at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center ever makes it past clinical trials to enter the market.
This new procedure would absolutely turn the page on stem cell therapy as we know it. Though it sounds too good to be true, the procedure could be the holy grail stem cell researchers have been looking for for decades. The most exciting part of the whole thing is the simplicity of the technique. Let us hope simplicity is not the procedure’s downfall.
Combining Stem Cells and Nanotechnology
Being able to manipulate stem cells to transform themselves into other forms of tissue at will has been the primary goal of stem cell research all along. As the thinking goes, we can grow any kind of tissue we need if we can learn to master the genetic programming that makes stem cells do what they do. So far, that mastery has been elusive. But researchers at Ohio State University may have found the key.
They combined what we currently know about adult stem cells with the latest in nanotechnology to create a small device that can ostensibly reprogram living adult cells so that they grow into other kinds of tissue. The device is based on a principle known as tissue nanotransfection.
In order to conduct the procedure, researchers need two things: patient DNA or RNA and the device itself, which looks like a small plastic chip. The biologic material is harvested from the patient being treated, then processed and loaded onto the chip. The chip is then placed at the site of the injury. Researchers apply an electric current that immediately sends the biologic material through the chip and into the tissue underneath. The nanotransfection process takes less than a second.
The injected DNA or RNA material then immediately goes to work to reprogram the stem cells it comes in contact with. Those stem cells will grow into whatever kind of tissue was programmed into them by way of the DNA or RNA.
Success in Laboratory Mice
Researchers have yet to test the procedure on human subjects. However, they have tested it on laboratory mice with remarkable success. A video produced by the researchers shows one particular mouse with significant damage to one of its legs. Scans showed that underneath the surface, there was very little blood flow to the injury site, thus inhibiting healing. After treatment, blood flow was restored and the leg healed on its own without any pharmacological intervention.
In another experiment, researchers were able to reprogram skin cells to grow into brain cells. The new cells were transplanted into the brain of a laboratory mice with blocked middle cerebral arteries. Essentially, the mice had all suffered a stroke. Their brains were restored to normal function within a matter of weeks.
To say this breakthrough is exciting does not truly convey the importance of what we’re talking about here. If this new reprogramming procedure proves effective in human patients, we could be on the verge of a set of treatments that would completely eliminate the need for pharmaceutical therapies, surgeries, and other procedures. Hopefully, we will be adding the technique to our core set of stem cell training courses at some point in the future. Wouldn’t that be incredible?