Friday, December 9, 2011

A new way to monitor engineered blood vessels

Researches have found a new way to use patient's own cells to possibly cure sickle cell disease and also other diseases that are caused by mutations in hemoglobin. This new technique allows cells from a patient's skin to form iPSCs. iPSCs are capable into making different types of mature tissues and blood. This process will help repair beta-globin and aid in avoiding harmful genes. Since these iPSCs come from the patient's own body the risk of transplant reject is very small. The researchers used a two-step approach. First, they took adult skin cells from a patient with an HBB mutation that causes sickle cell disease. They used six genes to coax these cells to revert to iPSCs, which could then be developed into blood cells. The genes were introduced into the cells using a technique that avoids the use of viruses and insertion of transgenes into the cells' genome.

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