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What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? – Aging ASCs, iPSC-derived Retinal Tissue, Smooth Muscle Repair, and Treating Thalassemia!



A roundup of some the recent stories in the ever-changing world of stem cells and regenerative medicine

Spotting the Signs of Aging in ASCs

While adipose-derived stem cells (ASC) display huge potential for regenerative purposes, we currently understand relatively little about ASC chronological aging. In a new study, researchers from the lab of Ivona Percec (University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA) have applied their aging model to human ASCs and have revealed novel chronological aging mechanisms that are inherently different from differentiated cells. See Stem Cells now for all the details.


iPSC-derived Retinal Tissue: Ready for the Clinic?

The generation of retinal-pigmented epithelial (RPE) cells or photoreceptor precursors from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) for transplantation purposes requires completely defined conditions for the process to be clinic applicable. Now, researchers from the lab of Olivier Goureau (INSERM, CNRS UMR 7210, Paris, France) have developed a two-step xeno-free/feeder-free culture system to efficiently differentiate hiPSCs into retinal cells. See Stem Cells now for details for a strategy that is “amenable to the development of an in vitro GMP-compliant retinal cell manufacturing protocol allowing large-scale production and banking of hiPSC-derived retinal cells and tissues.”

Smooth Muscle Repair with iPSC-pSMCs

The transplantation of human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived smooth muscle progenitor cells (hiPSC-pSMCs) represents a potentially exciting treatment option for stress urinary incontinence (SUI). However, we currently lack an effective strategy for purifying committed cells and removing potentially tumorigenic cells. Now, researchers from the lab of Yan Wen (Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, USA) have recently described the use of FDA-approved magnetic-activated cell sorting (MACS) employing the CD34 cell-surface marker to restore urethral sphincter function. See Stem Cells Translational Medicine now to see how this strategy may permit the safe stem cell-mediated regeneration of smooth muscle tissues.

Treating Thalassemia with iPSCs and Gene Correction Technologies

A new study from the laboratories of Suparerk Borwornpinyo and Suradej Hongeng (Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand) has demonstrated the combinatorial potential of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) and gene correction technologies. Their new Stem Cells Translational Medicine study describes the correction of a splice defect that causes β-thalassemia by the application of a modified U7 small nuclear (sn) RNA in patient-specific iPSCs. The hope is to differentiate corrected iPSCs into transplantable hematopoietic stem cells as a possible treatment strategy. Cool study!

So that’s a wrap for this week! Please let us know your views on all the stories we have covered here on the Stem Cells Buzz, and please let us know if we have missed anything interesting! Happy reading!