Thursday, January 15, 2009
Stem cell therapy for soldiers in battle?
Military medics often struggle to get donated blood to soldiers in battle, which can take weeks to deliver. Also hospitals in the US have seen a sharp drop in donated blood resulting from risks associated with hepatitis and other disease. This supply shortage has increased the cost of transfused blood to hospitals which are already suffering in a recession.
Researchers at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) were recently awarded a large grant to implement technology developed from John Hopkins University using nanofibers to mimic marrow to produce blood and stem cells. Theoretically this would decrease the need for transfusions and decrease the costs associated with them.
This work may contribute the the global understanding & usage of stem cells to help save lives and cure disease. Clearly in our lifetime we will see more and more stories on stem cells and growth factors unlocking some of the chains of disease.