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  • ISSN: 2379-0490
    Volume 1, Issue 1
    October-December 2013
    Editorial
    Jessica S Hayes*
    The field of tissue engineering has expanded at a staggering rate. In terms of bone tissue engineering research alone this has been represented by a dozen or so manuscripts being published in 1990, increasing to almost 18,000 at the time of writing. This is compounded by the fact that the tissue engineering market is estimated to be approximately 90 billion USD by 2016 [1]. Even so, the leap from research to a reliable commercial product in bone tissue engineering has been slow to say the least, specifically in terms of bioactive materials. This begs the question: What factor(s) are contributing to this evident gap between science and clinics? Does the majority of burden lay with us the scientists? Are clinicians significantly invested in progress? Are the regulatory bodies actively inhibiting progress? Are the industrial targets pulling their weight? And finally, are our funding bodies sufficiently versed in ‘the clinical problem' to fairly assess true translational medicine? The truth would appear to suggest that all stakeholders have questions to answer.
    Jan A. Plock*
    Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been identified as ideal source for regenerative purposes. Over the past decade their potential to migrate, proliferate, differentiate and modulate has shown significant promise. MSCs were first described as non-hematopoietic pluripotent cell population in the bone-marrow adhering to plastic surfaces in culture. MSCs do neither express hematopoietic lineage markers like CD34 and CD45, nor adhesion markers like CD31 or CD56. But Stro-1, CD29, CD73, CD90, CD105 serve well for their characterization. These cells can be isolated and expanded in vitro for differentiation along multiple mesenchymal lineages such as osteocytes, chondrocytes, myocytes, adipocytes, and Schwann cells (SC). Thereby they are emerging as a promising tool for tissue engineering and cell based therapy. The cellular effects of MSCs are mostly based on paracrine secretion of cytokines and growth factors [1]. Current evidence points to a wide range of proliferative and modulatory functions and interaction with various cell types.
    Perspective
    Emmanuel C Opara* and Benjamin S Harrison
    Diabetes mellitus represents a growing burden both on health-care expenditures and the quality of life of the afflicted individuals. Current estimates for the prevalence of diabetes indicate a global prevalence of about 285 million people [1]. Type 1 diabetes is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in young adults. Secondary diabetic complications include a quadrupled risk of heart attack and stroke and a significant decrease in life expectancy. The economic impact of diabetes is tremendous across the world, with a projected impact of over $200 billion in direct annual costs in North America in 2010 and an estimated 25% of U.S Medicare annual in-patient care expenditures being attributed to the treatment of diabetes and its associated complications [2].
    Jason Tchao1 and Kimimasa Tobita1,2*
    Heart failure is a major contributor to mortality in the United States. Many cardiomyocytes (CM) die following myocardial insult, and the post-natal mammalian heart has very limited regenerative capacity. Heart organ transplantation is a final therapeutic option to prevent patient death when heart failure is imminent. However, donor organ availability cannot completely meet current demands, and long-term prognosis remains unsatisfactory. Cellular cardiomyoplasty has emerged as one potential option to reverse maladaptive remodeling and restore contractile function. It involves the transplantation of cells into the heart to repair damaged myocardium. Choosing the right cell type remains a subject of debate. Using fetal CMs or embryonic stem (ES) cells would be undesirable from an ethical standpoint because they require the destruction of embryos and fetuses. While induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSc) can generate CMs with high purity, and direct CM induction from fibroblasts can produce CMs without reprogramming to pluripotency, their phenotype remains immature. Genome modification also poses a risk of oncogenic transformation in vivo [1,2].
    Mini Review
    Xuejun H. Parsons1,2*
    Abstract: Given the limited capacity of the central nervous system (CNS) and the heart for self-repair or renewal, cell-based therapy represents a promising therapeutic approach closest to provide a cure to restore normal tissue and function for neurological and cardiovascular disorders. Derivation of human embryonic stem cell (hESCs) from the in vitro fertilization (IVF) leftover embryos has brought a new era of cellular medicine for the damaged CNS and heart. Recent advances and technology breakthroughs in hESC research have overcome some major obstacles in moving stem cell research from animals towards humans trials, including resolving minimal essential human requirements for de novo derivation and long-term maintenance of clinically-suitable stable hESC lines and direct conversion of such pluripotent hESCs into a large supply of clinical-grade functional human neuronal or cardiomyocyte cell therapy products. Such breakthrough stem cell technologies have demonstrated the direct pharmacologic utility and capacity of hESC cell therapy derivatives for human CNS and myocardium regeneration, thus, presented the hESC cell therapy derivatives as a powerful pharmacologic agent of cellular entity for CNS and heart repair. The availability of human stem/progenitor/precursor cells in high purity and large commercial scales with adequate cellular neurogenic or cardiogenic capacity will greatly facilitate developing safe and effective cell-based regeneration and replacement therapies against a wide range of CNS and heart disorders. Transforming non-functional pluripotent hESCs into fate-restricted functional human cell therapy derivatives or products dramatically increases the clinical efficacy of graft-dependent repair and safety of hESC-derived cellular products, marking a turning point in cell-based regenerative medicine from current studies in animals towards human trials.
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