Subscribe to the BioNews newsletter for free

Login
Advanced Search

Search for
BioNews

Like the Progress Educational Trust on Facebook


The Fertility Show


 

Stem cells created from human blood sample

03 December 2012

By Dr Greg Ball

Appeared in BioNews 684

Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells)  have been created from a routine blood sample by UK researchers, marking an improvement over existing experimental methods that require more invasive tissue biopsies. If the technique is shown to be safe and effective, it could one day be used to obtain a patient's own stem cells to treat a range of diseases.

Dr Amer Rana, a senior author on the study from the University of Cambridge, said: '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 isolated a group of cells called outgrowth endothelial progenitor cells from patient blood samples that were grown in the lab. These progenitor cells were then turned into iPS cells.

Using blood samples has a further advantage as they can be frozen and then used to produce stem cells at a later date. Other sources of adult stem cells previously identified, such as skin, need to be transformed into stem cells as soon as they are collected. 'This will have tremendous practical value – prolonging the "use by date" of patient samples', said Dr Rana.

The research is at an early stage, however. 'The next stage obviously is to say, "OK if we can do all this, let's actually make some clinical grade cells", we can then move this technology into the clinic for the first time', explained Dr Rana.

Other stem cell researchers have welcomed the study results. Dr Paul Colville-Nash, programme manager for regenerative medicine at the Medical Research Council, said: 'Being able to produce iPS cells from an easy to obtain source such as blood should further support the rapid progress being made in this field and enhance the application of this technology to the fight against human disease'.

Chris Mason, professor of regenerative medicine bioprocessing at University College London, said this was 'beautiful work' from the lab in Cambridge. However, he drew attention to issues that remain in research into iPS cells saying that 'iPS cells are still very new, we need far more experience to totally reprogram a cell in a way we know to be safe'.

RELATED ARTICLES FROM THE BIONEWS ARCHIVE

04 March 2013 - by Dr Greg Ball 
Mouse embryonic stem cells are being transported to the International Space Station (ISS) to investigate the impact of long-term space flight on human health....
11 February 2013 - by Richard Fadok 
Brain cells engineered from human skin tissue have successfully treated laboratory mice with a deadly nerve disorder with similarities to multiple sclerosis...
11 February 2013 - by Michelle Downes 
For the first time human embryonic stem cells have been used in a 3D printing process and retained the properties that make them unique...
14 January 2013 - by Dr Anna Cauldwell 
Tissue derived from induced pluripotent stem cells causes 'limited or no immune response' in mice, a study published in Nature has found...
17 December 2012 - by Alison Cranage 
Scientists have converted kidney cells from human urine into brain cells, bypassing the need for embryonic stem cells...

12 November 2012 - by Dr Nicola Davis 
Stem cells obtained from donors have been used in clinical trials to effectively treat damage caused by heart attacks. The trial found that donor stem cells were 'just as safe' as stem cells derived from the person being treated....
15 October 2012 - by Joseph Jebelli 
Scientists have successfully implanted human neural stem cells into the brains of children with a rare neurological disorder...
25 June 2012 - by Dr Daniel Grimes 
Human embryonic stem cells have, for the first time, been used to grow a crucial part of the eye, a paper in Cell Stem Cell reports. It is hoped that in the future transplantation of such tissue could help visually impaired people recover their sight...
28 May 2012 - by Helen Brooks 
For the first time, scientists have managed to turn heart attack patients' skin cells into healthy beating heart cells in the lab...
28 March 2011 - by Dr Sophie Pryor 
US scientists have taken an important step towards using stem cells to treat age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness in the UK. The study demonstrates, for the first time, the ability to direct human iPS (induced pluripotent stem) cells to become...

HAVE YOUR SAY
Be the first to have your say.

You need to or  to add comments.

By posting a comment you agree to abide by the BioNews terms and conditions


- click here to enquire about using this story.

Published by the Progress Educational Trust

CROSSING FRONTIERS

Moving the Boundaries of Human Reproduction

Public Conference
London
8 December 2017

Speakers include

Professor Azim Surani

Professor Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz

Professor Robin Lovell-Badge

Sally Cheshire

Professor Guido Pennings

Katherine Littler

Professor Allan Pacey

Dr Sue Avery

Professor Richard Anderson

Dr Elizabeth Garner

Dr Jacques Cohen

Dr Anna Smajdor

Dr Andy Greenfield

Vivienne Parry

Dr Helen O'Neill

Dr César Palacios-González

Philippa Taylor

Fiona Fox

Sarah Norcross


BOOK HERE

Good Fundraising Code

Become a Friend of PET HERE and give the Progress Educational Trust a regular donation