Monday, July 18, 2011

Scientists find 'better way' to grow adult stem cells

A new plastic surface which overcomes the difficulties associated with growing adult stem cells has been developed, according to scientists.

Standard surfaces have proved limited for growing large amounts and retaining the stem cells' useful characteristics.

It is hoped the discovery could lead to the creation of stem cell therapies for re-growing bone and tissue, and also for conditions such as arthritis.

The study was carried out by Glasgow and Southampton universities.

The new "nano-patterned" surface was created using a manufacturing process similar to that used to make Blu-ray discs.

The surface is covered with tiny pits, which the researchers said made it more effective in allowing stem cells to grow and spread into useful cells for therapy.

Currently, when adult stem cells are harvested from a patient, they are then cultured in a laboratory to increase the quantities of cells and create a batch of sufficient volume to kick-start the process of cellular regeneration.

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