Stem cells are something that could change what we are able to do to help people, but it has been difficult to make the use of them successful on a large scale and make them effective without extra effort. MIT however, has addressed the issue of their effectiveness by coming up with a new synthetic material that helps stem cells grow and be more effective.
Now, you’re probably wondering what this new synthetic material has to do with the future of stem cells right? Well basically MIT has helped to develop a Synthetic material that doesn’t need foreign catalysts to produce the growth of the stem cells. This is a major breakthrough for stem cell research because before scientists would have to use a foreign catalyst like protein cells or the cells from animals like mice, which wouldn’t’ be too much of a problem except for the fact that it would probably cause an immune reaction in the human body and cause the human body to attack it. This doesn’t help when trying to treat anyone with the use of stem cell generated transplants, and rather then run the risk when trying to save someone’s life, the MIT scientists have decided to eliminate that possibility all together.
While this will help researchers create viable human ready stem cells for the future it could also mean greater things for the future of stem cell research as well. For the first time, thanks to MIT scientists this may soon no longer be a problem and not only that but they were able to develop a successful scaffolding that they could use from which to grow cells. They went even further however, because they also found certain proteins that worked well with stem cells and ones that increased stem cell output and increased the speed at which the stem cells grew. The best part here is that they were able to do so with Pluripotent stem cells, those that are adult stem cells; rather than use the controversial embryonic stem cells. With this process they were able to facilitate the growth of the stem cells from up to three months without any need for a foreign catalyst.
Even though it will take some time for this new research to take hold and for the production of such stem cells to be widely used, it eliminated one possible issue with there use. The fact that MIT researchers were able to also avoid using embryonic stem cells to do this and were able to have the same amount of success with the adult stem cells bodes well for the future of stem cell research. While the adult stem cells may not have all the qualities that the embryonic stem cells do currently, scientists such as the ones at MIT are working hard to make embryonic stem cell use a thing of the past and eliminate some of the negativity from such research. If they can continue to use adult stem cells already found in the human body they will be able to gain more support and funding then they have in the past. Only the future will tell how effective stem cell research such as this is, but it’s good to know scientists are trying to eliminate all previous concerns people had about its research.