NEW YORK, July 31, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- This month, scientific journals have reported on two more studies that highlight how stem cells found in babies' umbilical cord blood and cord tissue represent the future of medical treatments for serious diseases and injuries. Nature, The International Weekly Journal of Science, reported that Japanese scientists have successfully engineered rudimentary human livers, or "liver buds", using three types of stem cells. And, ScienceDaily reported that Spanish scientists have patented a biomaterial that helps create artificial bones using umbilical cord blood stem cells. These developments are among many in an industry that is pioneering stem cell-based therapies for many life threatening and debilitating diseases and injuries, including some that children may be more susceptible to as a result of family medical history.
In Japan, the researchers used human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), endothelial cells, and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to create liver buds. When they implanted the liver buds in mice, the liver buds performed some functions of a liver, including protein production and drug metabolism. iPSCs are a type of pluripotent stem cell artificially derived from a non-pluripotent cell. MSCs can be found in babies' umbilical cord tissue and placenta tissue and can be collected and preserved immediately after a baby is born.
In Spain, the researchers used umbilical cord blood stem cells to create a biomaterial that helped develop bone tissue. The next step in their research will be to implant the bone tissue in laboratory animals and determine whether it can successfully regenerate bones. If successful, this kind of medical therapy would be helpful for people who have suffered bone trauma due to disease or accidents. Umbilical cord blood stem cells are found in the umbilical cord and placenta immediately after a baby is born.
Research into uses of stem cells from cord blood is growing at a rapid pace. Earlier this year, BioInformant Worldwide, a research company focused on the stem cell industry, reported that there were 78 ongoing clinical trials in 2008 compared to 191 in 2012; this represents a 144% increase in clinical trials for cord blood research in just 5 years. Currently, over 80 diseases have been treated with umbilical cord blood stem cells.
"We believe that preserving a baby's stem cells creates a unique the opportunity for that child to have access not only to today's cutting-edge medical therapies, but also to medical therapies that will be developed in the future," said Martin Smithmyer, CEO of Americord Registry. "These newest reports of advances in stem cell research give us even greater reason to be extremely optimistic about the future of stem cell therapies."
Americord is a leader in the advancement of umbilical cord blood, cord tissue and placenta tissue banking. Americord collects, processes, and stores newborn stem cells from umbilical cord blood for future medical or therapeutic use, including the treatment of more than 80 blood diseases such as sickle cell anemia and leukemia. Founded in 2008, Americord is registered with the FDA and operates in all 50 states. The company's laboratory is CLIA Certified, accredited by the AABB and complies with all federal and state guidelines and applicable licenses. Americord is headquartered in New York, NY. You may visit Americord's website at cordadvantage.com for more information. You may also find Americord on Facebook and follow the company on Twitter.