Experts atThe University of Nottingham have discovered the first fully synthetic substratewith potential to grow billions of stem cells.
Their research could pave the way for the creation of ‘stem cell factories’, the mass production of human embryonic (pluripotent) stem cells. The £2.3m research project, led by Morgan Alexander, Professor of Biomedical Surfaces in the School of Pharmacy, and Chris Denning, Professor of Stem Cell Biology in the School of Medicine and funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), could lead to products for use in the treatment of heart, liver and brain conditions. Professor Alexander said:“The possibilities for regenerative medicine are still being researched in the form of clinical trials. What we are doing here is paving the way for the manufacture of stem cells in large numbers when those therapies are proved to be safe and effective.”
“Clinical trials are still in the very early stages. However, with this kind of product, if we can get it commercialised and validated by the regulators it could be helping patients in two to three years.” Conditions of the heart, liver and brain are all under investigation as possible new stem cell treatments. People are already receiving stem cells derived eye cells for eye disorders. The field of regenerative medicine has snowballed inthe last five years and over the coming five years a lotmore patients will be receiving stem cell treatments.
Professor Denning, whose field is in cardiac stem cell research, said: “The field of regenerative medicine has snowballed in the last five years and over the coming five years a lot more patients will be receiving stem cell treatments.
Professor of Stem Cell Biology in the School of Medicine