Skyrocketing Science with Stem Cells in Space


Do you think studying stem cells in space could possibly help us down on Earth? This might sound far out, but scientists are finding that researching stem cells outside our planet could help us better understand the physiological changes to astronauts in orbit and, more broadly, provide key insights about disease progression and treatment on Earth.


When stem cells are out of this world

Space travel plucks us away from the pull of Earth’s gravity and exposes us to solar radiation – novel conditions that provide new opportunities for research. While it is impractical to send a whole team of biologists to space, extraterrestrial physiology can still be studied by preparing cells on Earth, sending them to the International Space Station (ISS) and monitoring them remotely using automated experimental systems such as Space Tango’s CubeLab and NASA’s Bioculture System.

With these technologies, scientists sent human stem cell-derived heart cells to space for the first time in 2016 (see Figure 1). Dr. Joseph Wu, Stanford University, USA, found that these beating cells behaved differently in microgravity, yet returned to normal once back on earth. This study revealed the remarkable adaptability of human heart cells to changing environmental conditions, setting the stage for future experiments.

To take innovative stem cell research like Dr. Wu’s to the next level, NASA is constructing the Integrated Space Stem Cell Orbital Research (ISSCOR), a dedicated state-of-the-art stem cell lab within the ISS whose mission is to apply the power of stem cells in space to improve quality of life on Earth.

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Stem cells: a revolution in therapeutics-recent advances in stem cell biology and their therapeutic applications in regenerative medicine and cancer therapies


Basic and clinical research accomplished during the last few years on embryonic, fetal, amniotic, umbilical cord blood, and adult stem cells has constituted a revolution in regenerative medicine and cancer therapies by providing the possibility of generating multiple therapeutically useful cell types. These new cells could be used for treating numerous genetic and degenerative disorders. Among them, age-related functional defects, hematopoietic and immune system disorders, heart failures, chronic liver injuries, diabetes, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, arthritis, and muscular, skin, lung, eye, and digestive disorders as well as aggressive and recurrent cancers could be successfully treated by stem cell-based therapies. This review focuses on the recent advancements in adult stem cell biology in normal and pathological conditions. We describe how these results have improved our understanding on critical and unique functions of these rare sub-populations of multipotent and undifferentiated cells with an unlimited self-renewal capacity and high plasticity. Finally, we discuss some major advances to translate the experimental models on ex vivo and in vivo expanded and/or differentiated stem cells into clinical applications for the development of novel cellular therapies aimed at repairing genetically altered or damaged tissues/organs in humans. A particular emphasis is made on the therapeutic potential of different tissue-resident adult stem cell types and their in vivo modulation for treating and curing specific pathological disorders.

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Stem Cell Therapy For Knees

Stem cell therapy for knees has the potential to provide relief to a lot of people. Knee pain is an common condition that affects millions of Americans and people around the world. Considering the daily load that legs bear, a problem with your knees can limit movement. Knee pain can substantially reduce your quality of life and anti-inflammatory medication can only do so much. Suffice it to say, there exists significant interest in finding solutions to address knee pain and to restore healthy joint function. That’s where stem cell therapy for knees comes in!

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Stem Cell Therapy For Knees


Case Report: Bell’s Palsy and Stem Cell Therapy


Bell’s palsy is the most common form of idiopathic facial paralysis that we see as physicians. We report on a 43-year-old woman with a two-year history of unilateral facial palsy that had stabilized, and was unresponsive to treatment with steroids and antiviral medications. Treatment with adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells provided a significant improvement in symptomology with thirty days. Bell’s palsy is an idiopathic facial nerve weakness or palsyof 7th cranial nerve, thought to be caused by a viral or autoimmune origin. It is the most common cause of facial paralysis, accounting for 50-75% of cases and is part of a differential diagnosis of a cerebrovascular accident. Middle age patients are most commonly affected by the disease process, and it affect both males and females with an equal predilection. Resolution often begins within two weeks, and continues for up to six months. Many, if not most,resolve spontaneously. However, it is not uncommon to see patients
with relentless symptoms for 2-3 years extending to 7-10 years. Comorbid factors contribute to the likelihood of onset, and includepregnancy, diabetes, hypertension, Guillain-Barré syndrome,multiple sclerosis, Lyme Disease and myasthenia gravis, to name a few.


The facial nerve originates from the motor nucleus of the pons. Entering the internal acoustic meatus in the petrous portion of the temporal bone. An arachnoid-lined dura mater sheath encases the nerve, exiting through the stylomastoid foramen. The extracranial distal fivebranches innervate the face distal to the stylomastoid foramen. The intracranial branches provide special sensation to the anterior 2/3 of the tongue, and parasympathetic innervation to the stapedius, the salivary glands, the sinuses, the nose, the palatine nerves and the lacrimal gland amongst others. Thus, paralysis can involve multiple systems of the facial anatomy. There is drooping of the corner of the mouth, inability to close the affected eye, dry eye or epiphora, drooling, sensitivity to sound, pain of the face or behind the ear, inability to taste food and facial tingling.

There are changes of appearance, but the functional abnormalities are usually more debilitating. The facial nerve’s anatomical course has led some to believe that the nerve interacts with other anatomical structures along its path through the bone and soft tissue [1]. Specifically, the nerve is adjacent to the meninges and can develop entrapment neuropathies that can find relief with chiropractic manipulation and treatment [2].

The trapezius and sternomastoid muscles are supplied by the spinal accessory nerve and are capable of contributing to a Bell’s palsy by the proximity of the nuclei of the trigeminal, accessory and facial nerves. Traditional treatment involves antiviral medications within three days of onset, and oral steroids. The immunosuppressive aspect of steroids in this inflammatory process may be the key to resolving the symptomology. Sadly, many times patients are told that they have to learn to live with the symptomlogy. There are reports in the literature of acupuncture utilized within three days of symptom onset, relieving the effects of the palsy or completely curing 100 of 684 cases of facial nerve paralysis[3]. Traditional Chinese medicine oftener commends herbal treatments to supplement and treat facialpalsy[4]. Rubis reported in 2013 that she performed low level laser treatment for Bell’s palsy using a Gallium arsenide (GaAs) class 4 laser with a wavelength of 910 nm[5]. An improvement she reports were 70-80% after the first treatment. The use of laser treatment for nerve injury has been reported in the literature with successful results[6,7]. We report a case where adipose derived stem cells were used for precisely this purpose.

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