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What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - CVD Therapy Models, MSCs Care for Keratinocytes, Isolating Fetal Stem Cells, and Boosting Clinical Application of hMSCs!



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

Reviewing CVD Cell Therapy Models

Cell and animal models serve to measure the potential success or failure of cell therapies; however, confounding elements can lead to bias and the loss of preclinical utility. In a new review, the lab of Johannes Boltze (Fraunhofer Research Institution for Marine Biotechnology, Lübeck, Germany) discuss the nature of certain cofounding elements in the context cardiovascular disease (CVD) models, how to improve models, and the possible application of high-quality functional and imaging readout protocols to provide a more holistic assessment of cell therapy. See Stem Cells now for an interesting read!

MSCs Care for Keratinocytes in Altered Microenvironments

A recent Stem Cells study from the lab of Tae-Yoon Kim (Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Republic of Korea) has sought to assess the influence of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) on keratinocytes in altered microenvironments in the context of inflammatory wound research. The team discovered that in conditions of high extracellular calcium, MSCs suppress proliferation and differentiation of keratinocytes in a TGFβ1-dependent manner, involving multiple proximal signaling cascades.

Stay Out, Mom! - Learning how to Isolate Fetal Stem Cells

Culturing fetal mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) derived from the placenta is difficult due to maternal cell contamination. To get round this problem, the lab of Rebecca Pelekanos (University of Queensland, Australia) have “validated a novel isolation procedure comprising focal dissection from the cotyledonary core, collagenase/dispase digestion and explant culture in endothelial growth media that selected, and provided a proliferative environment, for fetal MSC”. See this new Stem Cells Translational Medicine study for all the details on a study that could promote regenerative medicine applications of this utile stem cell source.


Lower Costs and More Cells Boosts Clinical Application of hMSCs

The widespread clinical application of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) currently entails significant labor and monetary costs so many researchers are searching for enhanced culture techniques. The lab of Simon Cool (Agency for Science Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore) have now developed an engineered heparan sulfate variant (HS8) which binds and potentiates FGF-2, a key growth factor pathway that facilitates stem cell expansion. Their new Stem Cells Translational Medicine study suggests that this strategy enhances hMSC proliferation and expansion in a cost-effective manner. Great news!

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!