Eight years ago two new Nature papers broke on the scene reporting supposed STAP cells with one of the senior authors, Charles Vacanti of Harvard, most well known previously for making the so-called “Vacanti mouse” along with his brother Joseph.
The Vacanti mouse had a bioengineered human ear growing on its back.
While STAP cells were debunked including via efforts here on The Niche, the idea of bioengineered ears and other body parts continues to advance. It shows real promise.
The original idea was to eventually transplant a lab-grown ear onto a person who had a damaged or missing ear. Bioengineering ears and other body parts is still a hot area of research. A new report covered in the New York Times reports growth of an ear replacement using autologous cells.
I’ll start with that on the recommended reads.
Doctors Transplant Ear of Human Cells, Made by 3-D Printer, NYT. In both cases with the new report and the Vacanti mouse the methods include using an engineered scaffold and cartilage cells. It’s ingenious. Hopefully in the future many different types of bioengineered tissues and organs will become available for the large numbers of injured people or others in need such as due to birth defects or illnesses.
More recommended reads
- Single-Cell RNA Sequencing-Based Characterization of Resident Lung Mesenchymal Stromal Cells in Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia, Stem Cells.
- Injection of adipose stem cells in the treatment of rotator cuff disease – a narrative review of current evidence, Regenerative Medicine. No good evidence of efficacy.
- Stem cell therapy appears safe in advanced AMD, but questions remain, Healio. Interesting, but not the best article. It would have been great to see more voices in there. One quote on the use of fat “stem cells” injected into eyeballs is incorrect: it is not legal to do that.
- Multicellular dynamics of zonal liver regeneration mapped in space and time, Cell Stem Cell.
- Cultured Meat, Without the Slaughter, Is Slated to Get a Big Boost, Gizmodo. Check out my recent post on the leading biotech trying to bring us culture chocolate.
Stem Cells, Turned Into Neurons, Restore Motor Function in Rats, Parkinson’s News Today.
- Lawsuit: Woman Says She Went Blind After Stem Cell Therapy, NBC6 news
- Anniversary reflections: ISSCR presidents on 20 years of progress, Cell Stem Cell.