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Store-A-Tooth™ Dental Stem Cell Banking and Product News

Born with a windpipe less than a tenth of an inch wide, he was the first child in the world to get a transplant made from a donor organ and his own stem cells.

Posted by Mark Haigh on Fri, Jul 25, 2014 @ 09:44 AM

Ciaran Finn-Lynch, an Irish boy who was born with a windpipe less than a tenth of an inch wide. At age 10, he was the first child in the world to get a transplant made from a donor organ and his own stem cells.

Many of Macchiarini's patients have been given only months or a few years to live, left with no options or any hope.

“You see a patient and this patient has no other alternatives,” Macchiarini said. “And he will die very, very soon. As a human and as a doctor are we allowed to say no? I don’t think so.”

Though it might sound like science fiction, scientists around the world are actively experimenting with this promising science. Recent accomplishments include Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center's announcement that four teenage girls with a rare genetic disorder were implanted with lab-grown vaginas, and at the University of Basel in Switzerland, scientists regrew the nose tissue of older people whose noses had been partially lost to skin cancer.

But while scientists are eagerly working toward being able to grow vital organs like hearts, lungs and kidneys in the lab, it will be years before they are ready to attempt transplanting those in humans.


"As a human and as a doctor are we allowed to say no? I don’t think so."


But Dr. Macchiarini has already taken the science out of the lab. He first made headlines six years ago, in 2008, when he transplanted the world's first lab-made windpipe. It was constructed from a donor trachea that had been stripped of its original cells, leaving it as a skeleton upon which a new trachea could be built with the patient’s own stem cells. The groundbreaking method would allow Macchiarini to bypass two of the major problems associated with donated organs: the risk of rejection and the need to take powerful anti-rejection drugs.

Original article By Linda Caroll

Linda Carroll is a regular contributor to NBC News. She writes about health and science and her work has appeared in The Science Times, Newsday and The Los Angeles Times as well as national magazines including Smart Money and Health. She is coauthor of "The Concussion Crisis: Anatomy of a Silent Epidemic" and the recently released "Duel for the Crown: Affirmed, Alydar, and Racing's Greatest Rivalry." She lives in rural New Jersey.


Tags: Dental Stem Cells, Research, Healthcare, Regenerative Medicine, Stem Cells & Diabetes, Adult Stem Cells

A Leap of Faith: Desperate Patients Look to Lab-Grown Organs

Posted by James Andrews on Tue, Jul 08, 2014 @ 10:38 AM

He is a world-renowned surgeon who has been described both as a daring pioneer and as a cowboy who takes dangerous risks with his patients.

Dr. Paolo Macchiarini of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, is pushing the boundaries of the emerging field of regenerative medicine, which involves using a patient's own cells to rebuild tissues and organs. Eventually scientists hope to get to the point where any replacement body part or organ you need would simply be manufactured in a lab, man-made, just for you. This could eliminate the need for donor organs, which are in short supply all over the globe.

But for now, there is only one surgeon in the world who is doing transplants in humans with artificially grown organs. Patients come to the controversial surgeon because he is literally their only hope.

Take Julia Tuulik, a Russian dancer whose trachea was destroyed after a car accident.

“They offered for me this one chance,” Tuulik told Meredith Vieira for NBC News’ “A Leap of Faith: A Meredith Vieira Special,” airing Friday at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT. “And I haven’t other chance in my life.”

Or little Hannah Warren. Born without a trachea and unable to breathe on her own, she had spent her entire life in the hospital, kept alive only by a tube. No child with her disorder has ever lived past the age of six, and Dr. Macchiarini's artificial trachea was her only hope.

Or Ciaran Finn-Lynch, an Irish boy who was born with a windpipe less than a tenth of an inch wide. At age 10, he was the first child in the world to get a transplant made from a donor organ and his own stem cells.

Many of Macchiarini's patients have been given only months or a few years to live, left with no options or any hope.

“You see a patient and this patient has no other alternatives,” Macchiarini said. “And he will die very, very soon. As a human and as a doctor are we allowed to say no? I don’t think so.”

Though it might sound like science fiction, scientists around the world are actively experimenting with this promising science. Recent accomplishments include Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center's announcement that four teenage girls with a rare genetic disorder were implanted with lab-grown vaginas, and at the University of Basel in Switzerland, scientists regrew the nose tissue of older people whose noses had been partially lost to skin cancer.

But while scientists are eagerly working toward being able to grow vital organs like hearts, lungs and kidneys in the lab, it will be years before they are ready to attempt transplanting those in humans.


"As a human and as a doctor are we allowed to say no? I don’t think so."


But Dr. Macchiarini has already taken the science out of the lab. He first made headlines six years ago, in 2008, when he transplanted the world's first lab-made windpipe. It was constructed from a donor trachea that had been stripped of its original cells, leaving it as a skeleton upon which a new trachea could be built with the patient’s own stem cells. The groundbreaking method would allow Macchiarini to bypass two of the major problems associated with donated organs: the risk of rejection and the need to take powerful anti-rejection drugs.

By 2011, the Italian surgeon had moved on to plastic as a scaffold, rather than a donated trachea. The first recipient would be Andermariam Beyene, a 36-year-old engineer from Eritrea.

 

Macchiarini’s team began by collecting stem cells from Beyene’s bone marrow. Those cells were mixed with special growth factors and then poured onto a scaffold made from plastic — in fact, the very same plastic that is used to make soda bottles — which had been made to mimic the shape of a real windpipe.

In just a matter of days, the scaffold began to transform into an actual functioning windpipe.

Macchiarini described the magical sounding process like this: “It’s like if you roast a chicken. It’s the same thing. You fill this box with fluid that includes cells. And then this chicken scaffold just is submerged in this fluid and the cells penetrate inside.”

Eight patients have now received his completely artificial, bio-engineered tracheas, but because the surgery is still highly experimental and unproven, critics worry that he is putting his patients at risk and taking the science out of the lab prematurely.

Skeptics have questioned whether he is using his desperate — and highly vulnerable — patients as human guinea pigs.

“I do believe he’s in the gray zone,” Dr. Joseph Vacanti, surgeon- in-chief at the Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, told Vieira in September of 2013.

Not all of Macchiarini's patients have survived, but supporters argue that this is how surgery advances.


"I do believe he’s in the gray zone."


“Take a look at any major turn in surgery,” said Dr. Rick Pearl, pediatric surgeon-in-chief at Children's Hospital of Illinois in Peoria. “It never started out working, did it?

“Tom Starzl, when he started doing liver transplants, the first seven, eight, nine patients all died. Everybody said he was nuts, OK? Christian Barnard, when he started doing heart transplants, everyone threw rocks at him. This is how we’re going to treat diseases in the future and this is the start of it.”

One of Macchiarini's most promising success stories is Claudia Castillo, a Spanish mother who is doing so well six years after her transplant that an increasing number of Macchiarini's colleagues are beginning to see him in a new light.

“I believe, for the field, we are now at the end of the beginning,” Vacanti said. “And so, he may feel alone, but he is not alone. He’s part of the group that’s making fantasy real.”

 

Original article By Linda Caroll

Linda Carroll is a regular contributor to NBC News. She writes about health and science and her work has appeared in The Science Times, Newsday and The Los Angeles Times as well as national magazines including Smart Money and Health. She is coauthor of "The Concussion Crisis: Anatomy of a Silent Epidemic" and the recently released "Duel for the Crown: Affirmed, Alydar, and Racing's Greatest Rivalry." She lives in rural New Jersey.


Tags: Dental Stem Cells, Research, Healthcare, Regenerative Medicine, Stem Cells & Diabetes, Adult Stem Cells

Stem cell banking from teeth gains acceptance

Posted by Mark Haigh on Wed, Feb 19, 2014 @ 03:07 PM
LUDHIANA: People with poor health history or those suffering from genetic diseases are going to the dentists in greater numbers for stem cell banking from teeth. The major reason to adopt stem cell banking from teeth is that people feel it less painful and the safest of all methods. With stem cells creating the new milestones for a secure future all around the world, the technique of collecting stem cells from teeth is picking up in the city. As diabetes, kidney and liver diseases are very common among city residents, they don't want their children to suffer from such diseases in the future.

Dr Vivek Sagger, a well-known dentist from Rani Jhansi Road, said: "In the city, this technique has started picking up recently. I have about eight people who have got their stem cells in the teeth banked. This technique is like health insurance, in which we invest today to get the results in future if we acquire health problems. Tooth stem cells are so powerful and strong that they can even regenerate a new bone. There are three best resources for procuring these stem cells a?? first from the milk tooth of children below 10 years of age, second from the wisdom tooth, and third from children undergoing orthodontic treatment."

According to doctors, with the discovery of stem cells in teeth, an accessible and available source of stem cells has been identified. Milk tooth and wisdom tooth are full of stem cells, which can be preserved for years. Dental stem cells have significant medical benefits in the development of new medical therapies, and can help people with newly generated organs and bones. Health problems which can be treated through these tooth stem cells include diabetes, visionary problems, kidney, and liver problems. Stem cells in gums can be used for fighting inflammatory diseases.

Dr Preeti Vohra, a city-based dentist from Rani Jhansi Road, said: "After cases came in the limelight about celebrities doing it, the technique has picked up in the city, and there are more people coming up for this. The numbers are greater in people from higher social circles, who are getting their children's stem cells preserved for future prospects.

In the city at present, the pulp is being collected by the dentist and is sent to stem cell banks in Mumbai or Chennai for preservation. As 95 per cent of health problems in any society or world are tissue-related, and only five per cent are blood diseases, these tooth stem cells are able to regenerate both soft and hard tissues. "That's why their preservation is so much in demand," said Sailesh Gadre, owner of a renowned stem cell bank.

Meena Dixit of Dugri, who got her son's stem cells preserved in a stem cell bank last year, said: "I did not know about this technique, until Aishwarya Rai disclosed that she is getting her daughter's stem cells preserved for future prospects. I surfed the net and decided to go for it. Diabetes is a major problem in our family, and I don't want my children to suffer from the severe treatment or its impacts in future. That is why I got them preserved."

Tags: Dental Stem Cells, Research, Healthcare, Regenerative Medicine, Stem Cells & Diabetes

Stem Cells, Biobanking and the Shift to Precision Medicine

Posted by James Andrews on Thu, Dec 26, 2013 @ 10:06 AM

With a major paradigm shift underway related to diagnostics, treatments and delivery options, the shape of medical technology is changing rapidly to an approach that is much more patient-centered and focused on “precision medicine,” said Dr. Joseph Laning, Vice president of Research and Development for Provia Laboratories, LLC, during a presentation at the NSTC Biosciences seminar held on November 1 at Cummings Center in Beverly. “This change brings opportunity related to physician training, medical record portability and availability, as well as new and more accurate diagnostics – all leading to more personalized medicine.”

how stem cells can potentially be used as tools for basic research and drug discoveryDuring his presentation, Dr. Laning described how stem cells can potentially be used as tools for basic research and drug discovery, and how in the future “it could be your banked materials for you and your family” that are used in targeted medical treatments when needed. Dr. Laning outlined available sources for stem cells – including adult, embryonic, and induced – and provided an overview of the economic and ethical issues associated with each source and the use of stem cells in general.  He also outlined current pre-clinical and clinical testing being conducted in the field – including studies focusing used on stroke, spinal cord injuries, and regenerative medicine.

Stem cells are versatile self-contained models and are a reproducible source material for both basic and applied research, Dr. Laning told seminar attendees. For these reasons and because the “near and long-term clinical benefits are potentially immense,” there is an important value proposition associated with the use of stem cells in both biobanking and clinical research, he said. “We will see stem cells become state-of-the-art testing platforms and achieve therapeutic value,” Dr. Laning predicted. In order for this to happen, he said a company or group will need to “step up and push forward” some of the current and proposed clinical trials related to stem cells – then this will help drive momentum as well as product availability and increased interest.

Dr. LaningDr. Laning, now with Provia Labs, has spent the past 18 years seeking to translate concepts into products in the fields of wound care, regenerative medicine, and stem cell therapy. With a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Boston University and a PhD in Immunology from Harvard, Dr. Laning is currently targeting research related to the optimization of dental sourced biobanking methods. Lexington-based Provia Labs is a health services company specializing in high quality stem cell biobanking, including the Store-A-Tooth™ service which provides an opportunity for parents to preserve stem cells from baby and wisdom teeth in preparation for future advances in stem cell therapies.

The seminar was sponsored by Lisa Miranda, President and CEO of BioBusiness Consulting, Inc., which specializes in biobanking, clinical research, and biotechnology product development advisory. Biobusiness Consulting, a boutique consulting firm based in the Greater Boston Area, serves pharmaceutical, biotech, academic and government sectors worldwide. For more information please contact Lisa Miranda @ lisabmiranda@biobusinessconsulting.com

Republished courtesy of The North Shore Technology Council http://nstc.org

Tags: Dental Stem Cells, Research, Healthcare, Regenerative Medicine, Company Updates, Adult Stem Cells

Stem cell therapy on course to help treat spinal cord injuries

Posted by James Andrews on Thu, Dec 19, 2013 @ 10:07 AM

Adult stem cell treatment for spinal cord injuriesA systematic survey of the scientific literature shows that stem cell therapy can have a statistically significant impact on animal models of spinal cord injury, and points the way for future studies.

Spinal cord injuries are mostly caused by trauma, often incurred in road traffic or sporting incidents, often with devastating and irreversible consequences, and unfortunately having a relatively high prevalence (250,000 patients in the USA; 80% of cases are male). High-profile campaigners like the late actor Christopher Reeve, himself a victim of sports-related spinal cord injury, have placed high hopes in stem cell transplantation.

But how likely is it to work?

This question is addressed in a paper published 17th December in the open access journal PLOS Biology by Ana Antonic, David Howells and colleagues from the Florey Institute and the University of Melbourne, Australia, and Malcolm MacLeod and colleagues from the University of Edinburgh, UK.

Stem cell therapy aims to use special regenerative cells (stem cells) to repopulate areas of damage that result from spinal cord injuries, with the hope of improving the ability to move ("motor outcomes") and to feel ("sensory outcomes") beyond the site of the injury. Many studies have been performed that involve animal models of spinal cord injury (mostly rats and mice), but these are limited in scale by financial, practical and ethical considerations. These limitations hamper each individual study's statistical power to detect the true effects of the stem cell implantation.

This new study gets round this problem by conducting a "meta-analysis" – a sophisticated and systematic cumulative statistical reappraisal of many previous laboratory experiments. In this case the authors assessed 156 published studies that examined the effects of stem cell treatment for experimental spinal injury in a total of about 6000 animals.

Overall, they found that stem cell treatment results in an average improvement of about 25% over the post-injury performance in both sensory and motor outcomes, though the results can vary widely between animals. For sensory outcomes the degree of improvement tended to increase with the number of cells introduced – scientists are often reassured by this sort of "dose response", as it suggests a real underlying biologically plausible effect.

The authors went on to use their analysis to explore the effects of bias (whether the experimenters knew which animals were treated and which untreated), the way that the stem cells were cultured, the way that the spinal injury was generated, and the way that outcomes were measured. In each case, important lessons were learned that should help inform and refine the design of future animal studies. The meta-analysis also revealed some surprises that should provoke further investigation – there was little evidence of any beneficial sensory effects in female animals, for example, and it didn't seem to matter whether immunosuppressive drugs were administered or not.

The authors conclude: "Extensive recent preclinical literature suggests that stem cell-based therapies may offer promise; however the impact of compromised internal validity and publication bias means that efficacy is likely to be somewhat lower than reported here."

Potential "Biological Insurance"

For decades, doctors have harnessed the unique ability of stem cells to treat leukemia and genetic blood diseases. But now, researchers are discovering that these cells have the power to heal, to fight disease, and to regenerate damaged or aging tissue throughout the body. To fully understand why they hold the potential to change your child’s medical future, get to know more about stem cells.

Stem Cell Basics

Ordinary cells in your body replicate to make new cells of the same type - blood cells make more blood cells, skin cells make more skins cells and so on. However, there is another type of cell, called a stem cell.

Stem cells are able to repair or replace damaged tissue. This is why scientists and doctors are so excited about the growing role of stem cells to treat disease, injury, and the deterioration of tissue due to aging. Amazingly, after our birth and into adulthood, we keep a store of these stem cells in certain parts of our body.

Mesenchymal Stem Cells

Different types of stem cells exist in different body tissues, and in varying concentrations. One of the most well-understood and widely researched types of stem cells is the mesenchymal stem cell.

Mesenchymal stem cells can form tissues such as bone, nerve, muscle, and blood vessels. They also help body tissue to repair itself, and they play an important role in healing by suppressing inflammation.

Though located in a number of places in the body, mesenchymal stem cells can be found in especially high concentrations in the healthy dental pulp of teeth.
e.

Mesenchymal Stem Cells From Teeth Have Helped Paralyzed Animals Walk Again.

Diseases and injury to the nervous system affect millions of people of all ages, and scientists are actively exploring the use of stem cells to re-grow or repair nerve tissues and cells (a process known as neuroregeneration).

Today there is no cure for spinal cord injury, a misfortune that can strike at a moment’s notice with devastating effect on the person injured as well as their family.

Researchers have been studying the use of stem cells to treat spinal cord injury for many years. Recently, a research team at Nagoya University in Japan demonstrated that stem cells from teeth – both baby teeth and wisdom teeth – helped heal spinal cord injuries in rats and even restored some ability to walk. Another important finding: the stem cells from teeth worked better than stem cells from bone marrow.

Younger Is Better

Over time, even stem cells succumb to the environmental “insults” that age all of our cells. Freezing cells in a youthful state preserves their future ability to generate replacement tissue and heal the body.

All of these attributes make stem cells the cornerstone of the emerging field of treatments and therapies called Regenerative Medicine.

You can now bank on them

Store-A-Tooth is a simple service that takes that wisdom tooth or baby tooth that would be thrown out as biological waste by your dentist and banks it for you for the future.

Find out more: http://www.store-a-tooth.com/why-bank-stem-cells

 

Tags: Dental Stem Cells, Research, Healthcare, Regenerative Medicine, Company Updates, Adult Stem Cells

We don’t have to wait for the future potential of stem cells, it's already here

Posted by James Andrews on Fri, Dec 06, 2013 @ 10:15 AM

World stem cell summit, the future of regenerative medicine is hereYou have been hearing about the potential of stem cells to treat diseases and disorders for a few years now. So it was entirely appropriate that one of the opening sessions at the World Stem Cell Summit in San Diego focused on ways that stem cells are transforming medicine right now. This was very much a case of “we don’t have to wait for the future, because the future is already here.”

The agenda ranged from stem cell basics to advanced research.

Here is a list of some of the topics covered:

  • STEM CELL SCIENCE- UNDERSTANDING THE BASICS
  • PROGRESS TOWARD STEM CELL-BASED THERAPIES IN CALIFORNIA
  • HOW STEM CELLS ARE TRANSFORMING MEDICINE
  • THE GLOBAL REGULATION OF STEM CELL THERAPIES
  • STEM CELLS FOR TREATMENT OF HEART DISEASE
  • INTERSECTION OF STEM CELLS AND GENE THERAPY – CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS
  • SYNTHETIC MATERIALS, BIOMATERIALS AND SCAFFOLDS
  • THE PROMISE OF DIRECT REPROGRAMMING OF STEM CELLS
  • STEM CELLS AND THE COMING STANDARDS REVOLUTION IN THE LIFE SCIENCES
  • HOW PATIENT ADVOCACY ADVANCES STEM CELL RESEARCH AND REGENERATIVE MEDICINE
  • WHAT CAN FAT (ADIPOSE) STEM CELLS REALLY DO?
  • THE ROLE OF THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY IN REGENERATIVE MEDICINE
  • STEM CELL OPEN INNOVATION IN JAPAN: INDUSTRY-ACADEMIA COLLABORATION ON STEM CELL LARGE-SCALE PRODUCTION AND QUALITY CONTROL
  • NEW TECHNOLOGIES AND INFRASTRUCTURE TO EMPOWER PATIENTS
  • GROWING WHOLE ORGANS –CHANGING MEDICINE FOREVER
  • DIABETES PROGRESS
  • STEM CELLS FOR DISEASE MODELING
  • FROM CELLS TO CELL THERAPIES IN THE UK: ACCELERATING TRANSLATION AND A ROUTE TO THE EUROPEAN AND GLOBAL MARKETS
  • SYSTEMS APPROACHES TO DISEASE AND STEM CELLS
  • VISION FOR THE STATE-OF-THE ART BIOBANK
  • TAKING STEM CELL BASED THERAPIES TO THE CLINIC
  • STEM CELLS AND PARKINSON'S DISEASE
  • THE EMERGING INNOVATIVE POWERHOUSE OF BRAZIL - STEM CELL RESEARCH AIMED AT CURES

The World Stem Cell Summit honored five champions of stem cell research Thursday evening. They are: Philanthropists Denny Sanford and Malin Burnham; stem cell researcher/blogger/patient advocate Paul Knoepfler; medical journal publisher Mary Ann Liebert, and patient advocate Roman Reed.

A memorable speech advocating more stem cell research came from Roman Reed.
A spinal cord injury from a college football accident left Reed mostly paralyzed. He's recovered use of his arms, but cannot walk. Reed and his father, Don, were among the foremost proponents of Prop. 71, the initiative that set aside $3 billion in bond money to fund stem cell research and disease treatments in California.

Roman Reed describes how he fought back after being partly paralyzed.





You can read more about Roman Reed on this blog and view other videos covering topics about raising funds for stem cell research for spinal cord injuries, rats cured of spinal cord injuries with stem cells raising the question - how long for people?

 

Highlights from some of the speakers:

Paul Simmons, Ph.D., of the biotech company Mesoblast talked about his company’s use of mesenchymal precursor cells (MPCs) – the kind of stem cell found in bone marrow and the dental pulp of teeth – to help treat people who have heart failure or suffered a heart attack, as well as to help regenerate bone to repair damage to the spine and to treat immunological disorders.

Though located in a number of places in the body, mesenchymal stem cells can be found in especially high concentrations in the healthy dental pulp of teeth.

Mesenchymal stem cells are one of the most well-understood, widely researched and promising types of stem cell. More on Mesenchymal stem cells...

Professor Teruo Okano, Ph.D., of Tokyo Women’s Medical University talked about the use of tissue engineering to create entire sheets of stem cells that can then be transplanted into the body to repair damage. He showed how those sheets of cells can be placed on an eye to help repair a damaged cornea. The sheets didn’t need any stitches to hold them in place, instead after just ten minutes they had already adhered to the surface of the eye and begun to work. This technique has already been used in helping 30 patients in Japan and 25 in France.

Okano also showed how the same approach has been used to help patients with heart failure. One patient in Japan was on a heart assist device because his own heart was too weak to keep him alive. After receiving a transplant of heart stem cells in a sheet onto the surface of his heart the man began to recover. Within 7 weeks he was able to come off the heart assist device and within a few more weeks he was able to go home. Six years later he is still thriving.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. People of all ages and backgrounds can be affected. More on stem cells from teeth to treat heart attacks...

U.C. Davis researcher Jan Nolta, Ph.D., also talked about mesenchymal stem cells but said her team is genetically engineering them so they can be used to treat many different problems ranging from heart and stroke to arthritis and cartilage and autoimmune disorders such as lupus. Nolta says the MSCs don’t seem to “become” the damaged cells but instead work by having an impact on other cells in the body, stimulating them to help repair the damage.

She also talked about the growing use of MSCs in dental work, helping repair damaged bone in the mouth or even restore gum tissue. Nolta has received a number of grants from CIRM for her work in developing new therapies for Huntington’s disease and critical limb ischemia.

The speakers didn’t gloss over the fact that there are many obstacles still facing the industry. Simmons highlighted some of the problems in being able to mass produce stem cells in the quantity and quality that will be needed if these kinds of treatments are going to be not just widely available but also affordable.

Okano said his team is already working on producing a cell sheet tissue factory, a fully automated system for manufacturing the sheets of stem cells needed in his work.

The conclusion was that even the most advanced researchers and companies acknowledge that there is a lot of work still ahead but that progress is being made and therapies are already in the clinics for patients, and many more are on the way.

Tags: Dental Stem Cells, Research, Healthcare, Regenerative Medicine, Stem Cells & Diabetes, Adult Stem Cells

Boyd "Rainmaker" Melson, Professional Athlete and Advocate for Spinal Cord Injury Treatment, Joins Store-A-Tooth Team

Posted by James Andrews on Wed, Dec 04, 2013 @ 03:30 PM

Boyd Melson, professional athlete and advocate for spinal cord injury treatment, as a member of its Advisory Board.Store-A-Tooth is excited to announce the onboarding of Boyd Melson, professional athlete and advocate for spinal cord injury treatment, as a member of its Advisory Board.

Melson is a decorated professional boxer who donates all of the money that he earns in the ring to spinal cord injury research.

His advocacy efforts have been profiled through many media outlets such as the Emmy Award winning HBO series Real Sports, ESPN.com, Sports Illustrated and Yahoo. He is a founder of the organization Team Fight to Walk (http://www.teamfighttowalk.com), which through professional boxers and other athletes raises money for JustADollarPlease (http://www.justadollarplease.org), which supports efforts to bring clinical trials of adult stem cell treatments for spinal cord injury to the United States.

“In the United States alone, where a spinal cord injury occurs every 43 minutes, there are 300,000 people living with the tragic after-effects”, said Melson. “Of those, 40,000 are US Armed Forces Veterans. The exploding field of regenerative medicine holds great promise for the treatment of these injuries. My dearest friend in this world, Christan, who is the inspiration behind my passion for all things relating to spinal cord injury treatment, lives every day with the challenges resulting from a spinal cord injury. I have experienced firsthand, in her case, how adult stem cells can improve the quality of life. I live to help Christan and others like her.”

Boyd continues, “I am really pumped about being an Advisor to Store-A-Tooth, whose mission is to help the world prepare for a future where adult stem cells have changed medicine as we know it. Everyone should be banking their cells.

Captain Boyd “Rainmaker” Melson of New York City looks to take another step in the right direction when he squares off against solid veteran Gundrick “Sho-Gun” King over eight rounds in the main event of Broadway Boxing Wednesday, December 4 at BB King Blues Club in Time Square.

Melson, 12-1-1 (4 KO’s), was originally slated to face unbeaten Chris Gilbert however, the bout fell apart after an unauthorized representative accepted the bout on his behalf.

A four time US Army Champion, 100% of Melson’s purses, thirteen which went to Justadollarplease.org to help support America’s first trial to cure Chronic Spinal Cord Injuries and the other to help a friend who had a young son with cancer, were donated. In his most recent bout, the 2003 West Point grad outpointed tougher than advertised Jason Thompson for a unanimous decision. That night included 8 rounds of exciting boxing for Melson in front of a standing room only crowd, in which Melson knocked Thompson down in the 8th round. Former NBA power forward/Knicks legend Larry Johnson and Academy Award Winner Cuba Gooding Jr., both fans of Melson, went to the fights that night to support him.

King, who is fighting in the Big Apple for a third time, has a solid 18-10 professional ledger with 11 wins by knockout. The 35-year-old Tuscaloosa, AL native’s battled a number of quality fighters including former world champion Yuri Foreman, title challenger Paul Delgado, world rated junior middleweights Jonathan Gonzalez and Charlie Ota and unbeaten Brad Solomon.

The 28 fight veteran is far more experienced than any of Melson’s prior opponents and is expected to test him.

“He’s got a lot of experience against top fighters,” Melson said of King. “This is the kind of opponent that I’ve got to beat in order to get to that level. I’m expecting King to bring the heat and try to use his experience to overwhelm me. Fortunately, I have a strong amateur background that gave me different but important experience as well. I am already prepared for whatever he has to offer, and I love a good scrap.”

Following the bout, Melson will once again donate his entire fight purse to Justadollarplease.org in support of bringing trials to the United States that could help cure chronic Spinal Cord Injuries. It was recently released in the nationwide media that this clinical trial we are raising funds for to bring here to the U.S. has resulted in 15 out of 20 patients walking enrolled in the study in China who were paralyzed an average of 7 years. Unfortunately, there still is not enough money to carry the trial out in the US but it is estimated that it could start sometime in 2014.

STEM CELLS SAVE LIVES

For decades, doctors have harnessed the unique ability of stem cells to treat leukemia and genetic blood diseases. But now, researchers are discovering that these cells have the power to heal, to fight disease, and to regenerate damaged or aging tissue throughout the body. To fully understand why they hold the potential to change your child’s medical future, get to know more about stem cells.

STEM CELL BASICS

Ordinary cells in your body replicate to make new cells of the same type - blood cells make more blood cells, skin cells make more skins cells and so on. However, there is another type of cell, called a stem cell.

Stem cells are able to repair or replace damaged tissue. This is why scientists and doctors are so excited about the growing role of stem cells to treat disease, injury, and the deterioration of tissue due to aging. Amazingly, after our birth and into adulthood, we keep a store of these stem cells in certain parts of our body.

MESENCHYMAL STEM CELLS

Different types of stem cells exist in different body tissues, and in varying concentrations. One of the most well-understood and widely researched types of stem cells is the mesenchymal stem cell.

Mesenchymal stem cells can form tissues such as bone, nerve, muscle, and blood vessels. They also help body tissue to repair itself, and they play an important role in healing by suppressing inflammation.

Though located in a number of places in the body, mesenchymal stem cells can be found in especially high concentrations in the healthy dental pulp of teeth.

YOUNGER IS BETTER

Over time, even stem cells succumb to the environmental “insults” that age all of our cells. Freezing cells in a youthful state preserves their future ability to generate replacement tissue and heal the body.

All of these attributes make stem cells the cornerstone of the emerging field of treatments and therapies called Regenerative Medicine.

MESENCHYMAL STEM CELLS FROM TEETH HAVE HELPED PARALZYED ANIMALS WALK AGAIN

Diseases and injury to the nervous system affect millions of people of all ages, and scientists are actively exploring the use of stem cells to re-grow or repair nerve tissues and cells (a process known as neuroregeneration).

Today there is no cure for spinal cord injury, a misfortune that can strike at a moment’s notice with devastating effect on the person injured as well as their family.

Researchers have been studying the use of stem cells to treat spinal cord injury for many years. Recently, a research team at Nagoya University in Japan demonstrated that stem cells from teeth – both baby teeth and wisdom teeth – helped heal spinal cord injuries in rats and even restored some ability to walk. Another important finding: the stem cells from teeth worked better than stem cells from bone marrow.

The stem cells sourced from teeth appeared to work in three ways:

  1. They helped prevent the death of injured nerve cells.
  2. They helped the injured tissue repair itself.
  3. They differentiated into new neuro-supporting cells.

To learn more about the study, read the full article published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

References:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22133879

Learn more about Boyd Melson, and why he is an advocate for spinal cord injury treatment.

http://teamfighttowalk.com

http://www.store-a-tooth.com/press-releases

 

Tags: Dental Stem Cells, Research, Regenerative Medicine, Adult Stem Cells

The keys to a successful healthcare business

Posted by James Andrews on Fri, Nov 22, 2013 @ 09:24 AM

Investment life article on the business of stem cellsBuilding a healthcare business is very hard. It takes more than a needed technology.  It takes more than a top-notch team.  Healthcare businesses, particularly life science businesses, require a considerable amount of capital for both product development and market development.

An interview with Provia Laboratories CEO Howard Greenman, highlights the difficulties and keys to success when building a healthcare business from the ground up:

I remember 14 years ago, I was sitting across the table from a healthcare venture capitalist – pitching my first startup company.  It was the first time I was in such a meeting and I was nervous – very similar to the TV show Shark Tank.  I will never forget what he said:  “There are many great healthcare ideas, but few that are good business ideas.”  He continued, “I measure the potential of a healthcare innovation first by its finance-ability.”  It seems a shame that many interesting healthcare innovations that are needed by patients don’t make it to market because they don’t make sense to investors.

My current company, Provia Laboratories has a technology (the ability to collect, transport, process, expand, test, and preserve the valuable adult stem cells found inside baby and wisdom teeth) that is both an incredible technology for patients allowing them to preserve their youthful stem cells for future therapies, but it is also an appealing business for investors.  This is described in the attached article about our investment partner – Grace Century.

We are fortunate to be working with such an outstanding firm who selected Provia Laboratories as a “game changer” investment for its portfolio.  Grace Century has done a rigorous job evaluating our business through their due diligence process and continues to provide advice and support to us as a true partner.  We have a needed technology, a world-class team, and an amazing investment partner providing us the needed capital to grow.

Article on investing in stem cell storage

Here is an excerpt from an article in Investment Life magazine:

Stem Cells and Investment Strategy

How a select group of investors is identifying opportunity in an increasingly complex environment.

To paraphrase Ralph Waldo Emerson - if you build a better mousetrap, the world wil beat a path to your door.
It appears that a company called Grace Century FZ, LLC has invented the equivalent of a better mousetrap. This organization's approach to providing exceptional investment value for clients is based on the identification of opportunities within some of the fastest growing sectors in the world...

...One of the current investment opportunities identified by Grace Century fulfills all of the above criteria (common sense, a workable solution, the right team and the right risk-reward ratio). The investment opportunity is a company called Provia Laboratories, which has a branded service name 'Store-A-Tooth' (stem cell storage).

Stem Cell Storage
Ongoing research indicates that stem cells may hold the key to repairing organs, curing chronic disease and even extreme human longevity.

For this reason many parents are storing umbilical cord material which can be used in host-specific therapy.

What of parents who did not store umbilical material? One company - Provia - thinks they might have a solution.

You can read the entire article here:
http://issuu.com/panashcomedia/docs/ilm_issue_november_december_2013

Additional links:
More information on the Store-A-Tooth™ service provided by Provia Laboratories

Tags: Dental Stem Cells, Research, Healthcare, Regenerative Medicine, Company Updates, Stem Cells & Diabetes, Adult Stem Cells

Neurons made from teeth may be best for autism research

Posted by James Andrews on Wed, Nov 13, 2013 @ 03:03 PM

Tooth extraction: Neurons generated from baby teeth express high levels of a number of genes implicated in neurological disorders.In a study published in PLoS One, cells extracted from baby teeth, which fall out on their own, may be better suited than skin cells for making induced neurons to use in autism research. (see abstract below)

To study neurons associated with a disorder, researchers often revert skin cells from an individual with the disorder to a pluripotent state — from which they can become any cell type in the body. They then use these so-called induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells to generate neurons in culture. A skin biopsy is painful and invasive, however.

Also, studies have shown that some epigenetic marks — modifications to DNA that influence which genes become active and when — may remain in these iPS cells. These may affect gene expression in the resulting neurons.

In the new study, researchers generated iPS cells from dental pulp, the living tissue inside of teeth, rather than from skin. Dental cells develop from the same set of early progenitors that neurons do, and so may be more similar to neurons than skin cells are.

Baby teeth are also easy to obtain, as children lose about 20 of them between the ages of 5 and 12 years. And for children with autism, even a visit to the doctor’s office to give blood (another source of iPS cells) may be difficult.

The researchers compared the genes expressed in neurons generated from dental pulp with those derived from two different skin samples. Overall, gene expression is similar among the cells, suggesting that they form essentially the same type of neurons. But the researchers found a subset of 63 genes that show statistically significant differences in expression.

In particular, HOX genes, which help direct brain development, are expressed at lower levels in the tooth-derived neurons than in the skin-derived ones. In contrast, some genes, such as FOXP2 and LHX2, which are expressed in the forebrain during development, are expressed at higher levels in the tooth-derived neurons. This latter group also includes a high proportion of genes implicated in schizophrenia.

The results suggest that tooth-derived neurons are well suited to study schizophrenia and related disorders such as autism, the researchers say.

 

Abstract from Plos one:

Induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology is providing an opportunity to study neuropsychiatric disorders through the capacity to grow patient-specific neurons in vitro. Skin fibroblasts obtained by biopsy have been the most reliable source of cells for reprogramming. However, using other somatic cells obtained by less invasive means would be ideal, especially in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and other neurodevelopmental conditions. In addition to fibroblasts, iPSCs have been developed from cord blood, lymphocytes, hair keratinocytes, and dental pulp from deciduous teeth. Of these, dental pulp would be a good source for neurodevelopmental disorders in children because obtaining material is non-invasive. We investigated its suitability for disease modeling by carrying out gene expression profiling, using RNA-seq, on differentiated neurons derived from iPSCs made from dental pulp extracted from deciduous teeth (T-iPSCs) and fibroblasts (F-iPSCs). This is the first RNA-seq analysis comparing gene expression profiles in neurons derived from iPSCs made from different somatic cells. For the most part, gene expression profiles were quite similar with only 329 genes showing differential expression at a nominally significant p-value (p<0.05), of which 63 remained significant after correcting for genome-wide analysis (FDR <0.05). The most striking difference was the lower level of expression detected for numerous members of the all four HOX gene families in neurons derived from T-iPSCs. In addition, an increased level of expression was seen for several transcription factors expressed in the developing forebrain (FOXP2, OTX1, and LHX2, for example). Overall, pathway analysis revealed that differentially expressed genes that showed higher levels of expression in neurons derived from T-iPSCs were enriched for genes implicated in schizophrenia (SZ). The findings suggest that neurons derived from T-iPSCs are suitable for disease-modeling neuropsychiatric disorder and may have some advantages over those derived from F-iPSCs.

Tags: Dental Stem Cells, Research, Healthcare, Regenerative Medicine, Adult Stem Cells

What does dentistry and stem cell research have in common?

Posted by James Andrews on Fri, Oct 25, 2013 @ 10:21 AM

Stem cells to repair teeth and prevent root canalsThe answer may be more enlightening than you can imagine. Scientists are working diligently to discover the abilities of cell regeneration within the human body. Dentistry is playing an important role in this new age research.

Is it possible that the days of the root canal could finally be numbered? Yes. It may even be sooner than you think.

A root canal procedure involves cleaning out the infected and dead tissue in the root canal of the tooth, disinfecting the area, and adding an impermeable seal to try to prevent further infection. An estimated 15.1 million root canals are performed in the U.S. annually, according to a 2005-06 survey by the American Dental Association.

Elimination of root canals would be a huge paradigm shift in dentistry. Dentist welcome this change in their practices since their major concern about a root canal is that, although they may eliminate the pain and infection that patients initially experience, they cannot always create a sterile environment inside the dentinal tubules. Also, the seal that is carefully placed at the apex of the tooth does not always prevent new infection from occurring. This compromised condition could subsequently spread to surrounding tissue without detection and eventually develop unexplained or mysterious illnesses in other areas of the body.

Current research shows that advances made by scientists in treating tooth decay may allow dentists to restore tooth tissue and avoid the dreaded root canal procedure. Several recent studies have demonstrated in animals that procedures involving tooth stem cells appear to regrow the critical, living tooth tissue known as pulp.

Treatments that prompt the body to regrow its own tissues and organs are known broadly as regenerative medicine. There is significant interest in figuring out how to implement this knowledge to help the many people with cavities and disease that lead to tooth loss.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the U.S. half of kids have had at least one cavity by the time they are 15 years old and a quarter of adults over the age of 65 have lost all of their teeth.

Tooth decay arises when bacteria or infections overwhelm a tooth’s natural repair process. If the culprit isn’t reduced or eliminated, the damage can continue. If it erodes the hard, outer enamel and penetrates down inside the tooth, the infection eventually can kill the soft pulp tissue inside the tooth, prompting the need for either a root canal or removal of the tooth.

Pulp is necessary to detect sensation, including heat, cold, and pressure. It contains the stem cells (undifferentiated cells that turn into specialized ones) that can regenerate tooth tissue.

Researchers from South Korea and Japan to the U.S. and United Kingdom have been working on how to stimulate dental stem cells into regenerating pulp.

The tooth is considered nature’s “safe” for these valuable stem cells. There is an abundance of stem cells in baby teeth, wisdom teeth, and permanent teeth. The process is still in its early stages, but it is well on the path to what could be a reduction, or even elimination, of the need for painful root canals.

A 2009 nationwide survey by Nova Southeastern University (NSU) revealed that 96% of the dentists polled expected stem cell regeneration to dominate the future of dentistry. Additionally, more than half predicted that the technology would be available within the next decade.

Stem cell regeneration will certainly reform the practice of dentistry in a positive manner. Sooner than later we’ll witness the day when dentists will be moving away from traditional root canal treatments and reduce or eliminate the need for extracting teeth due to extensive dental decay. Beautiful, healthy teeth will finally be the norm instead of the exception.

As consumers become increasingly aware of dental stem cells, patients are asking dentists to tell them about dental stem cells and how they can be banked or saved for future use.

Services like Store-A-Tooth are beginning to be routine rather than the exeption with more parents choosing to preserve their children's baby and wisdom teeth when they come out so that the stem cells inside can be saved for future use.

What is Store-A-Tooth™?

Store-A-Tooth™ is a service that allows patients to store the stem cells associated with these teeth – instead of discarding these tissues.

Healthy deciduous teeth or adult teeth that are exfoliating or are being extracted contain stem cells and therefore are excellent candidates.

Our mission is to provide access to care for patients who wish to store these tissues.

Why Choose Provia Laboratories?

Not all dental stem cell banking services are the same. Our end-to-end process is consistent with best practices stated in the AAPD Policy on Stem Cells and federal and state regulations.

Work with a provider that you can trust to properly save your client's precious stem cells.

  • We use *Save-A-Tooth® as the core component of our tooth collection and transport kit.
  • We overnight samples from your office to our lab for higher stem cell quality.
  • We test samples for Industry-Standard stem cell markers to verify presence of stem cells published by the International Society for Cellular Therapy.

*Save-A-Tooth® is FDA-approved, ADA-accepted, recommended by the Mayo Clinic and the NIH and trusted by thousands of dentists, emergency responders, sports teams, schools, and families to preserve avulsed teeth for reimplantation.

Tags: Dental Stem Cells, Research, Healthcare, Regenerative Medicine, Adult Stem Cells

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