Image Credit: Dr. Amer Rana
Researchers have developed a method for producing stem cells from blood. They have identified the correct blood component that can be converted to induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. Pluripotent stem cells have the ability to change into almost any type of cell in the body. The iPS cells could be used to create tissue or blood vessels for the treatment of heart and cardiovascular diseases.
According to researcher, Dr. Amer Rana, "We are excited to have developed a practical and efficient method to create stem cells from a cell type found in blood. Tissue biopsies are undesirable -- particularly for children and the elderly -- whereas taking blood samples is routine for all patients." The researchers also state that unlike tissue samples, blood samples can be frozen and stored to be converted to iPS cells at a later time. Since the cells are created from the patient's own blood, they are not likely to cause an immune response if used to repair damaged tissue.
Learn more about this study, see:
- New Patient-Friendly Way to Make Stem Cells for Fight Against Heart Disease (University of Cambridge)