Saturday, September 1, 2012

New Life - The Healing Promise of Stem Cells

Diseases and conditions where stem cell treatment is promising or emerging. Source: Wikipedia

Since the late 1990s, the Technion has been at the forefront of stem-cell research. Stem cells are the master keys because they can be converted into many different kinds of cells, opening many different doors to potential cures and treatments. Beating heart tissue is one of the major stem cell achievements from the Technion.

Healing the Heart

Technion scientists showed this year that they can turn skin tissue from heart attack patients into fresh, beating heart cells in a first step towards a new therapy for the condition. The procedure may eventually help scores of people who survive heart attacks but are severely debilitated by damage to the organ.
By creating new heart cells from a patient's own tissues, doctors avoid the risk of the cells being rejected by the immune system once they are transplanted.Though the cells were not considered safe enough to put back into patients, they appeared healthy in the laboratory and beat in time with other cells in animal models.
"We have shown that it's possible to take skin cells from an elderly patient with advanced heart failure and end up with his own beating cells in a laboratory dish that are healthy and young – the equivalent to the stage his heart cells were in when he was just born," Prof. Lior Gepstein told the British national paper The Guardian.

Pancreatic Tissue for Diabetes

Prof. Shulamit Levenberg of the Technion, who has spent many years trying to create replacement human organs by building them up on a “scaffold,” has created tissue from the insulin-producing islets of Langerhans in the pancreas surrounded by a three-dimensional network of blood vessels.The tissue she and her team created has significant advantages over traditional transplant material that has been harvested from healthy pancreatic tissue.

"We have shown that the three-dimensional environment and the engineered blood vessels support the islets – and this support is important for the survival of the islets and for their insulin secretion activity", says Prof. Levenberg of the Department of Biomedical Engineering.

In the Bones

BonusBio - Health News - Israel

In collaboration with industry and global research partners, Technion scientists have grown human bone from stem cells in a laboratory. The development opens the way for patients to have broken bones repaired or even replaced with entire new ones grown outside the body from a patient’s own cells. The researchers started with stem cells taken from fat tissue. It took around a month to grow them into sections of fully-formed living human bone up to a couple of inches long. The success was reported by the UK national paper The Telegraph.

Stem Cell Proliferation

““These are our next generation of scientists and Nobel Laureates,” says Prof. Dror Seliktar, of the Department of Biomedical Engineering. “The future of the Technion relies on that.”

Seliktar and his research team at the Lokey Center for Biomaterials and Tissue Regeneration at Technion is working on a new material for the mass production of stem cells to make their commercial use viable on an industrial scale.

“In the biotechnology industries, there is an inherent need for expanding populations of stem cells for therapeutic purposes,” says Seliktar, who has published over 50 papers in the field, won over 14 awards and launched one of Israel’s promising biotech startups, Regentis Biomaterials.

Read more.

Prof. Joseph Itskovitz-Eldor of the Faculty of Medicine was on the international team that in 1998 first discovered the potential of stem cells to form any kind of tissue and pioneered stem-cell technology. The breakthrough garnered headlines around the world. He is the Director of the Technion Stem Cell Center.


  1. The tissue she and her team created has significant advantages over traditional transplant material that has been harvested from healthy pancreatic tissue Homepage.

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  3. Stem cell has been one of the recent discoveries used in treating serious illnesses, though a lot of rumors have been spreading about it. Hopefully stem cell can also stop the increasing number of fats that cause clogging in our veins, something that freeze off fat treatments do.

  4. When medical researchers have opened the stem cell therapy to the public, a lot of people questioned its credibility if it does really heal serious illnesses but their doubts were proven wrong for it became successful and helped many people. It's just that this treatment is very pricy and only the rich can afford for it, that’s why to avoid serious health problems, it's best that we visit a long island weight loss clinic once in a while.

  5. Maybe if stem cell could also cure erectile dysfunctions, maybe people wouldn’t look for generic cialis. But that thing is impossible to achieve, we know for a fact that stem cell therapy is pricy and only those “high class” people can afford that. Good thing there are generic medicines like generic cialis where more people could rely on to solve their illness.

  6. I'm so thankful the stem cell therapy has been discovered and now available for everyone. My cousin has undergone this therapy, seven months ago. Now she's back to her outgoing, confident self and she's been dating again.

    I agree that it's pricey, but consider it's a matter of health, let's think of it as a small price to pay.

  7. I'm happy to see some bigger leaps in stem cell research lately. All we're waiting for fully compatible organs coming from cultivated stem cells, to make transplants a lot easier.

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