A new “nano-patterned” surface using the same manufacturing technique as used for making Blu-Ray discs holds potential for growing larger volumes of stem cells for therapeutic purposes, reports the BBC.
Current techniques limit the production of useful stem cells, according to the report.The research on this project was conducted by the University of Glasgow’s Dr. Matthew Dalby, and Dr. Nikolaj Gadegaard and Professor Richard Oreffo of the University of Southampton.
The group has used the surface to culture one specific type of stem cell successfully, but it still has to be proven with other kinds Dalby told the BBC:
“If the same process can be used to culture other types of stem cells too – and this research is under way in our labs – our technology could be the first step on the road to developing large-scale stem cell culture factories, which would allow for the creation of a wide range of therapies for many common diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.”
The news is encouraging because despite its promise, stem cell transplants for therapeutic purposes still have a long way to go, according to experts.
In early July, doctors in Sweden implanted the first-ever synthetic windpipe in a 36-year-old Icelandic man who had tracheal cancer. The synthetic windpipe had been lined with his own stem cells.