StemTherapy - Stem Cells for Regenerative Therapy
Recent stem cell research has opened up new possibilities within science and medicine with the hope of new methods to restore the function of damaged tissue by replacing dead or damaged cells with new and healthy cells. This is enabled by the remarkable ability of stem cells to self-renew indefinitely and differentiate into other cell types in our bodies, but is hampered by significant challenges before it can be applied in patients. Using stem cell strategies, several severe diseases, such as diabetes, spinal cord injury, burns and arthritis, can potentially be treated and cured.
StemTherapy is a joint project between Uppsala University and Lund University, and aims to support the translation of basic stem cell research into new cures, therapies and diagnostics. In our research, we have earlier developed injectable materials that are able to attract the body’s own stem cells. In the injected matrix these cells can grow and differentiate and has been shown to be able to form vascularized bone tissue in animal studies and in humans. This knowledge about biomaterials and matrixes that are able to support implanted cells during an initial critical period following implantation is critical to reach the aims of StemTherapy. This includes the rapid and efficient growth of new blood vessels to the cells to provide oxygen and nutrients as well as to remove waste products. By combining strong competences within stem cell biology and clinical cell therapy with our biomaterials knowledge, we will be able to reach new breakthroughs to solve major health problems, focusing on diabetes, stroke and hematological disorders.