Stem cells from fat used to regenerate bone

English: Fat Stem Cells
English: Fat Stem Cells (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bone injuries and osteoporosis have long been the target of research for better treatments. Now a team of California researchers has discovered a way to use stem cells from fat tissue to regenerate bone.

The new approach overcomes some of the major obstacles of using regular mesenchymal stromal stem cells (MSC). MSCs require a two- to three-week period of culturing outside the body, which introduces greater possibility of infection and increases the risk of cancer cells developing before the stem cells can be used.

The new method of harvesting and purifying stem cells from adipose tissue produces what are known as perivascular stem cells (PSC). PSCs are localized around all the body’s veins and arteries and form part of the natural regenerative system. At the same time researchers identified a new growth factor NELL-1 that “potently amplifies the ability of PSC to form bone and vascular structures.”

Applications for the new method include treating bone loss due both to post-menopause in women and to aging in both men and women.

Can’t wait to see this get to clinical trial.

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