Regenerative medicine breakthrough with human colon stem cells

07 September 2011

Posted by Michelle Devonshire

Scientists in Spain have managed to identify and grow human colon stem cells in a move that could produce regenerative medicine in the future.

Specialists at the Colorectal Cancer Lab at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) managed to cultivate the cells on a lab-plate, having identified their location.

Peter Jung, First Author of the report, stated: "For years, scientists all over the world have been trying to grow intestinal tissue in lab-plates; testing different conditions; using different nutritive media."

Writing in the journal Nature Medicine, the IRB Barcelona researchers noted that they had found a way of generating the stem cells in a lab setting that maintained "their undifferentiated and proliferative state".

Stem cells within the colon regenerate the large intestine's inner layer weekly during an individual's lifetime.

Earlier this year, scientists from the University of Edinburgh's Medical Research Council Centre for Regenerative Medicine used skin cells from a patient with Parkinson's disease to model the condition in a laboratory in order to analyse it.

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