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What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - RPE Transplantation, Stable Hyaline Cartilage, Fibrinogen-cultured iPSCs, and Boosting Fat Graft Survival!

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The Stem Cells Portal brings you a roundup of some of the new and exciting stories in the ever-changing world of stem cells, regenerative medicine, and beyond!

Update on Retinal Pigment Epithelium Transplantation

A review from the lab of Marco Zarbin (Rutgers University, Newark, New Jersey, USA) brings us an update on cell‐based therapies for the treatment of age‐related macular degeneration (AMD), a vision‐threatening disease. This STEM CELLS Translational Medicine article focuses on the application of retinal pigment epithelium in cell transplants as a rescue or replacement therapy. The authors highlight cell‐based therapy as a potentially useful approach in chronic degenerative retinal disease, but also note the abnormal microenvironment of the host, surgery‐induced changes in the host retina, and the need for immunosuppressive therapy for subretinal allogeneic retinal pigment epithelium transplants as significant obstacles.

In Vivo Formation of Stable Hyaline Cartilage by Bone Marrow Stem Cells

An exciting study from researchers led by Pamela G. Robey (NIH, Bethesda, Maryland, USA) and Raphael Gorodetsky (Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel) reports the first formation of stable cartilage in vivo by human bone marrow stem cells (BMSCs). Kuznetsov et al. employed fibrin microbeads coated with hyaluronic acid as a scaffold as support for naïve BMSCs to provide new possibilities for the restoration of damaged articular cartilage in regenerative medicine and for modeling of human cartilage diseases in vivo. For all the details, see STEM CELLS Translational Medicine now!

Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Cultured on Fibrinogen Hydrogels

Researchers from the lab of Alan Marmorstein (Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA) recently sought to address the lack of culture substrate options for induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) destined for clinical applications by exploring the potential of biocompatible, non-xenogenic, autologous use-compatible, and biodegradable human fibrin hydrogels. Encouragingly, Gandhi et al. now report that iPSCs cultured on fibrinogen retain their pluripotent characteristics, their ability to differentiate into cells representative of the three germ layers, and their ability to be directly differentiated into endothelial cells. See STEM CELLS Translational Medicine now for more information.

Fructose 1,6‐bisphosphate Promotes Survival of Fat Grafting

The success of fat grafting as a regenerative therapy relies on the survival of cells in an ischemic microenvironment. Now, researchers from Peking Union Medical College in Beijing (China) tested the fructose 1,6‐bisphosphate (FBP) energy metabolism intermediate as a means to rescue cells and tissues from hypoxia‐ischemia. The authors now report that FBP treatment improved fat graft survival post-implantation by enhancing adipocyte viability and function, increasing vascularization, reducing inflammatory infiltration, and promoting the viability of adipose‐derived stem cells (ASCs). For more information on how FBP may improve the efficacy of fat grafts and other substitute biomaterials, head over to STEM CELLS Translational Medicine now!

That’s a wrap for now! Please feel free to leave a comment and discuss the papers covered here on the Stem Cells Buzz. Happy reading!