Scientists at the University of Granada and Alcalá de Henares University have found out that not all isolated stem cells are equally valid in regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. In a paper recently published in the prestigious journal Tissue Engineering the researchers report that, contrary to what was thought, only a specific group of cord blood stem cells (CB-SC) maintained in culture are useful for therapeutic purposes.
At present, CB-SCs are key to regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. From all types of CB-SC those called "Wharton's jelly stem cells (HWJSC)" are stirring up the interest of specialists in regenerative medicine, due to their accessibility and great ability to develop into several types of tissue and modulate immune responses.
Through a combination of microscopy and microanalysis essays, and the study of the genes involved in cell viability, the researchers discovered that only a specific group of cord blood stem cells (CB-SC) maintained in culture is useful for therapeutic purposes
The Most Suitable Cells
The relevance of this paper, which was the cover article in the journal Tissue Engineering, lies in the possibility to select the most suitable HWJSC for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. According to these researchers, the different studies with HWJSC have obtained contradictory results because researchers failed to previously select the most suitable cell group.
The results of this study also open the possibility to select stem cell subgroups from different tissues, in order to improve the therapeutical efficacy of different regenerative medicine protocols.
This research study was conducted by the Tissue Engineering research group at the University of Granada Histology Department coordinated by professor Antonio Campos Muñoz, who recently created artificial skin and a cornea by using stem cells and new biomaterials developed in Granada.
The research group is also composed of professors Alaminos Mingorance and Ingrid Garzón. Professor Garzon was awarded a prize at the World Congress on Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine held in Seul for a preliminary study on the same issue.