European researchers have announced a breakthrough in the development of artificial bone marrow which expands the ability of scientists to reproduce stem cells in the lab and could lead to increased availability of treatment for leukemia sufferers.
One of the main treatments for the blood cancer is the injection of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). These HSCs can either be harvested from a compatible donor or cultivated from the patient’s own bone marrow in the lab.
The greatest challenges in producing HSCs in the lab has been their limited longevity outside of the bone marrow environment. This problem may soon be circumvented with the creation of an artificial bone marrow by the Young Investigators Group for Stem Cell– Material Interactions.
Headed by Dr. Cornelia Lee-Thedieck the group consists of scientists from the KIT Institute of Functional Interfaces (IFG), the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Stuttgart, and Tübingen University.