Adult Stem Cell Awareness

April 4, 2008

Hair Stem Cells Have Potential

Filed under: alternative sources — chelseaz @ 10:06 pm

University of Buffalo scientists believe that stem cells derived from hair follicles may be able to be formed into new blood vessels. Yes you read that correctly, these “adult” stem cells can be formed into “new” blood vessels:

During the study, UB researchers showed that stem cells isolated from sheep hair follicles contain the smooth muscle cells that grow new vasculature.

The group recently produced data showing that stem cells from human hair follicles also differentiate into contractile smooth muscle cells.

“We have demonstrated that engineered blood vessels prepared with smooth muscle progenitor cells from hair follicles are capable of dilating and constricting, critical properties that make them ideal for engineering cardiovascular tissue regeneration,” said Andreadis.

Moreover, this new, accessible source of cells may make possible future treatments that allow for the regeneration of these damaged organs.

How convenient would it be if patients could be treated with stem cells from their own hair?!

For the record, it would be wise for you, in the future, to just tune out when news reporters try to explain the “difference” between embryonic and adult stem cells. It usually goes something like this: “Embryonic stem cells are more flexible and can be manipulated into becoming any type of stem cell found in the human body. Whereas adult stem cells cannot be changed. A liver cell can only be a liver cell, a skin cell a skin cell, etc…” Modern stem cell science is continually disproving this, but I wouldn’t expect the media to be catching on.

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