Stem cells are incredible cells that have proven to be invaluable to scientists over the last 50 years. They have the ability to divide through the process of mitosis into a diverse spectrum of cell types, and can aid in the repair of vital organs. Doctors at Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute located in Los Angels California have recently released findings that exemplify the amazing potential of these cells, and their potential to repair organs after trauma.
Patients that had suffered heart attacks were taken in at CSHI and were subject to an experimental procedure using stem cells, (animal tests had been preformed before hand). Eduardo Marban, the director of CSHI stated that the procedures primary intent was to verify the safety of like procedures, while also monitoring the regenerative properties of the heart tissue after implementation. The results they found were astonishing. Select patients in the study were treated with their own heart-derived cells, which were applied to the damaged area shortly after a heart attack. The process of obtaining these cells began with a biopsy of heart tissue smaller than the size of a raisin. This sample would be the basis for the growth of new heart cells, and expand to between 12 and 25 million cells. Once the sample had grown in the culture process, it would be reintroduced into the coronary arteries in a process similar to the biopsy. A year after the stem cell treatment, patients saw a 50 percent decrease (24%-12%) in scar tissue associated with the heart attack. Control patients had no reduction in scar tissue, which composed 24 percent of the heart after an attack.
CSHI has taken out a patent on the process of deriving these cells, and plan to use similar processes in the future. The possibilities for these types of processes are limitless. Right now, stem cells implantation shows a 50 percent regenerative effectiveness, and it is only in the earliest stages of its trials. This procedure is at the forefront of a major breakthrough in the biomedical and bioengineering fields. Stem cell use is on the cusp of its heyday, and may very well prove to be one of the most effective and influential procedures and medical processes of this century.
Posted by: Jeff Keating (2)
Reference Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120213185441.htm