Okay, so we’ve been talking about how stem cell therapy can be used to treat many diseases in human. Now here’s another question. Can stem cell therapy repair spinal damage? Researchers have had this question in their minds for quite a while, and had been doing research and trials on mice. Much like the salamanders that can regrow its limbs, researchers are hoping to find a way to regrow damaged tissues in the human spine.
A group of Australian researchers successfully transformed fat and bone cells extracted from mice into a new type of cell called “induced multipotent stem cells,” or “iMS cells.” The process involves switching off the memories of the cells and converting them into stem cells so they can repair different cell types once they are put back into the body. The iMS cells were injected into mice with a bone graft and new marrow-filled bone and cartilage were formed around the transplant within 12 weeks. The good news is there were no tumor behaviors in the iMS cells after 12 weeks as well.
The results for the trials on mice were positive. Researchers expect to begin doing human trials by the end of 2017. Hopefully the newly found stem cell therapy can potentially treat back and neck pains, spinal disc injury, and joint and muscle degeneration.