New Insight Into How Immune Cells Are Formed

After several attempts by various scientists and researchers, it is finally revealed that they have made a ground-breaking invention – The skin patch. It has the ability, not only to heal but also regrow damaged organs within a short span of time. The technology used to develop this is called (TNT) Tissue Nanotransfection. The technique is reprogramming of skin cells. Inducing pluripotent stem cells are the most common instances of reprogramming where the stem cells such as the blood or skin is converted to an embryonic stem cell by introducing it to some reprogramming genes to it. The method requires the path to be placed on the wound or target area and then removed. During this process, the chip injects a genetic code into the cells of the skin which helps restore the wounded/damaged blood vessels. The research team at Ohio State University were successful in restoring cognitive functions on lab mice with serious damage in its limbs.

The chip injects bits of DNA into the skin pores with just a shot of electricity. It is then, that the DNA drops its identity and reprograms itself to the certain cell type which can be further harvested to fix injured and severed organs. This technological advancement is likely to help in the reconstruction of damaged internal organs, restoration of old and aged tissues and in bringing relief in brain regeneration.

The Ohio team has built this device with silicone of the size of a stamp and it serves the purpose of a reservoir as well as an injector. It’s as small as a penny. It is micro-etched with several nano channels that help in connecting with the microscopic dents.

Another path-changing aspect about this invention is that it does not involve expensive cell isolating methods nor does it warrant tedious manipulation in the laboratory. This technology would use the patient’s skin itself for the conversion to take place and thus making the human skin a prolific bioreactor.

Researchers believe that if this technology is further bettered, it can help in a massive way in relieving and restoring cognitive functions and also help patients with Alzheimer, Parkinson disease as well as relieve brain tumors.

The team is now waiting for approval of human trials, as it uses the person’s own skin cells and doesn’t require external medication. This extensive research was led by Dr. Chandan Sen, Director of Centre of regenerative medicine and Cell-based Therapies and was funded by Leslie and Abigail Wexner, Ohio State’s Centre for Regenerative Medicine and Cell-Based Therapies and Ohio State’s Nanoscale Science and Engineering Centre.

This invention can not only instil hope and faith in a lot of people but also help them recover and heal completely without having to go through an invasive surgery, but instead use their own living cells to heal themselves. According to Dr. Chandan, it will take a little longer to get the approval of FDA to start their human trials, following to the success of which, is the possibility of this technology being available for the masses.

Cord Blood Banking for Potential Future Transplantation

Despite all the planning and caution, life seems to be unpredictable at one phase or the other! And it’s mostly, when individuals are faced with a health crisis, where the ailment at hand is chronic and irreversible. Humans try to secure the health of their children and loved ones in many ways. One such way that has gained popularity owing to its growing success rate, is cord blood stem cell transplant. Today, it is considered to be a miracle cure for diseases that previously doctors considered as dead-end.

The use of UCB (Umbilical Cord Blood) as a rich source for cord blood stem cells have expanded in the past decade. Today, it is already a successful practice for treating children who are suffering from haematological malignancies. Furthermore, there’s also the use of double UCB and minimized-intensity transplantation platforms that have also played its part in this expansion. In the recent times, the registry-based evaluation and the end-to-end multi-center and single institution clinical trials are researching on ways to make the UCB transplantation more acceptable. The objective is to address the complex ailments such as sickle cell disease and Kostmann’s syndrome and treat it successfully through the transplant without any side effects.

Once a baby is born, the cord blood gets collected from the placenta and the umbilical cord. The collection process is very simple and poses no risk either to the baby or the mother. These cord blood cells comprise of Haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), which are the rare cells usually spotted in bone marrow as well.

It is said that the Haematopoietic stem cells has the capacity to produce all kinds of cells in blood i.e. white cells, red cells and platelets. They are accountable for retaining blood production all through the life. And they have also been utilized for several years in the bone marrow transplants for treating blood related ailments. In addition to that there also have been numerous reports that suggest that cord blood might also comprise of specific kind of stem cells that can create a distinctive cell that doesn’t belong to blood, for instance nerve cells. Such ideas and theories are debatable and are being researched upon for correct validation.

In the recent times, over 6000 patients globally have been treated with stem cell transplants. The U.S Food and Drug Administration still consider this process experimental and urge that there’s scope for expertise in future. However, the doctors usually procure cord blood from children whose parents have decided to store the cord blood. At the time of transplant if the patient and donor have genetic similarity then the patient’s body will accept the transfusion.

According to Mary Laughlin, Cord Blood Transplantation Expert, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio there’s a constant battle or action to reaction that goes on between the recipient and donor cells, and every patient and doctor wants the donor cells to win invariably. Usually, the stem cell transplants are considered more forgiving that other processes, such as the bone marrow transplants even if the donor isn’t an exact match.

As there is growth in the volunteer stem cell donor bands, the patients who are in need of it are closer to getting the best match and thus the chances of recovery is more. According to the Center for Cord Blood in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which is biggest public cord blood donor bank in United States, the chances of procuring a perfect or near perfect match today has increased exponentially in the last 4 years.

So, from Beta Thalassamia Major, Inherited Red Cell Abnormalities, Pure Red Cell Aplasia, Multiple Myeloma to Plasma Cell Leukaemia cord blood stem cell transplant has successfully treated it all. And its future is a promising one where medical experts are researching on treating other chronic ailments with UCB.

Stories of Hope: Drilling Into My Skull and Injecting Stem Cells Helped My Stroke

Life on one hand seems all bright and beautiful. And when faced with an irreversible ailment with no visible room for recovery, then it seems like uncertainty has had a tight grip on life. Ailments like cancers of all kind, immune system and blood disorders and chronic brain and spine injuries all pose a threat to life. And in the recent times, cord blood stem cell has been the only miracle cure that has been successfully combating the list of dangerous and untreatable ailments and recording victory.

Such is the story of Evelyn Hilton, who was a brave heart to volunteer for stem cell transplant to treat her brain condition. The lady at 58 witnessed a stroke back in 2014. Going by her account, it was a weekend and she doesn’t recall graphic details about the stroke. But she confirms it was a painful one and it prohibited all the movement to the left side of her body. Struggling with this condition, Evelyn wasn’t ready to give up, as she had a list of things to achieve and she didn’t want to quit all that.

Being stuck in the hospital bed makes one vulnerable at the hands of the medical system! Not having any control on her left side, Evelyn one day decided to volunteer for what seemed to her just an experiment. In the course of it a liquid mix of stem cell got injected to her brain cells. During that time, this revolutionary treatment was experimented only on selected patients and the outcome were safe and very effective. The process did however require a hole to be drilled in her skull.

The stakes were high and the results were expected to favourable. But just the idea of drilling a hole into the skull seemed painful and challenging. In her own words, Evelyn expressed her desire to be back to normal, daily life, was so strong, that she was prepared for almost anything. All she assured herself was that the process might just help her heal back than stay in the stroke indefinitely.

Recounting her story, she says, that she reached the hospital within a span of 4 hours and received proper medication that helped to eradicate the blood clot that had taken place and averting further damage. And after she received the stem cell therapy, on the 6th month of her treatment where patients are noted to recovery, she wonders if she would get any better without that. Filled with grace and gratitude Evelyn says that in the time frame of two and half years of her stroke, she has only seen health improvements post the stem cell therapy. Though the changes have been slow, but they are consistent and that’s what helped keep a positive attitude to life.

Over the past few months, Evelyn confirms that she has recovered in a huge way on the left side of her body. This made her do away with the walking stick. She has left it and it’s been a while. She didn’t want the world to look upon her as a disabled, old body but rather as one who is continuously improving in body and mind, with every passing day.

For Evelyn stem cell transfusion has a miracle cure. She isn’t completely normal but has recovered almost 40%. She considers herself lucky to have healed to this extent. There are several such stories of hope where cord blood stem cell therapy has brought back life in people where the end was almost inevitable. This only proves stem cell therapy is the future of regenerative medicine and counting on cord blood banking has its positives.