SEARCH FOR SCI CURE: Lab-grown neural stem cells help repair spinal injuries

Scientists at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine have created spinal cord neural stem cells (NSC) from embryonic human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs), which could feasibly represent a source of transplantable cells for repairing spinal cord injuries.

   Scanning electron micrograph of cultured human neuron from induced pluripotent stem cell

Scanning electron micrograph of cultured human neuron from induced pluripotent stem cell

Headed by Mark Tuszynski, M.D., Ph.D., professor of neuroscience and director of the UC San Diego Translational Neuroscience Institute, California Institute for Regenrative Medicine (CIRM) has thus far provided over $6.5 million in funding for two separate studies of Dr. Tuszynski. You can read more about the two studies HERE and HERE.

The researchers say their culture system offers the potential for scale up to derive cells for treating spinal cord injury in a clinical setting, although they acknowledge that further studies will be needed to test the safety and effectiveness of the approach first in nonhuman primates. You can read about the study HERE.