June 2, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

mesenchymal stem cells

3 min read

A few days ago I had a long, very enjoyable phone conversation with the father of the mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) field, Dr. Arnold Caplan. Dr. Caplan is Professor of Biology, Director Skeletal Research Center at Case Western. He coined the phrase “mesenchymal stem cell” in the late 1980s. I’m going to break the interview into 4 parts. Today is Part 1, focused on the history, nomenclature, and properties of MSCs. I learned a lot to put it mildly from talking with him. (See …Read More

1 min read

The mesenchymal stem cell (MSC). So important and yet so misunderstood? People pronounce it in different ways. People isolate the MSCs in different ways. Each person’s MSCs are very different. Each lab’s MSCs are different. (see picture above of MSCs showing fibroblastic morphology; source is Wikipedia) Someone once told me that MSCs are the same as hematopoietic stem cells. ‘What the heck?’, was my response. Some people are not sure that MSCs (at least as they are typically thought of) even exist. I remember distinctly …Read More

2 min read

So far in my series of eight simple reasons not to get an unlicensed stem cell treatment I’ve covered three compelling reasons: potential loss of insurance coverage for negative outcomes that could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, failure of patient follow up by the doctors and clinics, and exclusion from future clinical trial participation. Today in my fourth segment I’m covering something that while very simple, seems to fly under the radar of most patients getting unlicensed stem cell treatments: undesired tissue growth. …Read More