Finally, there are news that regenerative medicine using stem cells are beginning to have practical applications. There has been a lot of hype about the enormous potential of stem cells which has yet to translate to clinical practice. This article highlights an important source of stem cells - from our fatty tissue. This sidestep the whole ethical and religious issue of using embryonic stem cells which are harvested from days old fertilised eggs (blastocytes). Fatty tissue are from adult adipose tissue and most of us have much to spare.
Who needs implants? How tissue engineering and a new kind of stem cell can help the body rebuild itself.
Photo: David Slijper
To be in the company of Chris Calhoun is to encounter breasts, and encounter the damn things anytime, anywhere—including over a plate of spaghetti in a bustling Manhattan restaurant.
On this spring afternoon, the 44-year-old CEO of San Diego-based biotech company Cytori Therapeutics pulls out his laptop, launches a PowerPoint presentation, and there they are: conical and cantaloupy, As through Ds, beige and pink and taupe and tan, more breasts than you might see in a women’s locker room, never mind in the middle of a lunch table.
A passing waiter does a double take at this lively slide show, but Calhoun is oblivious. He’s talking excitedly about how these women’s bodies led him and his team of scientists to a discovery in tissue engineering, a process that could well be one of the most momentous medical advances of the 21st century: the use of stem cells—specifically stem-cell-enriched adipose (fat) tissue—to enhance, heal, and rebuild injured or damaged organs.