Removing the ethical issues associated with stem cell research will pave the way to new research and development. So far, they are applying the technology, called VSEL stem cells, to providing a minimally invasive procedure to improve and speed painful bone growth, namely in dental patients requiring tooth extractions and implants.
UM is working together with NeoStem to supply the design, patient care and data analysis for the study. NeoStem is responsible for the patented technology used to purify the special stem cells, which mimic embryonic stem cells.
“Within a year, researchers hope to begin recruiting roughly 50 patients who need a tooth extraction and a dental implant,” explains Russell Taichman, UM Professor of Dentistry.
The VSEL stem cells are culled from the patient’s own body before the required tooth extraction and then isolated and purified using NeoStem’s VSEL technology. Then, UM researchers can implant pure populations of the patient’s own cells back into the patient. Once the new bone starts to grow, researchers can remove a small portion for analysis before replacing it with an implant.
“We’re taking advantage of the time between extraction and implant to see if these cells will expedite healing time and produce better quality bone,” Taichamn said. “They are natural cells that are already in your body, but NeoStem’s technology concentrates them so that we can place a higher quantity of them onto the wound site.”
Robin Smith, the chairman and CEO of NeoStem, strongly underlines the importance of this study to treat a wide range of diseases in the future based on the development of these embryonic-like stem cells culled from the patient’s own body.