Aging Reversed / ABC News

Now researchers have found a way not just to stop, but, reverse the aging process. The key is something called a telomere. We all have them. They are the tips or caps of your chromosomes. They are long and stable in young adults, but, as we age they become shorter, damaged and frayed. When they stop working we start aging and experience things like hearing and memory loss.

In a recent study published in the peer reviewed journal Nature scientists took mice that were prematurely aged to the equivalent of 80-year-old humans, added an enzyme and essentially turned their telomeres back on. After the treatment they were the physiological equivalent of young adults. You can see the before and after pictures in the videos above. Brain function improved, their fertility was restored it was a remarkable reversal of the aging process. In the top video the untreated mouse shows bad skin, gray hair and it is balding. The mouse with it’s telomeres switched back on has a dark coat color, the hair is restored and the coat has a nice healthy sheen to it. Even more dramatic is the change in brain size. Before treatment the aged mice had 75% of a normal size brain like a patient with severe Alzheimers. After the telomeres were reactivated the brain returned to normal size. As for humans while it is just one factor scientists say the longer the telomeres the better the chances for a more graceful aging.

The formal study Telomere dysfunction induces metabolic and mitochondrial compromise was published in Nature.

Additional information published by Harvard can be found in the following articles.

Scientists Find Root Molecular Cause of Declining Health in the Old

Decoding Immortality – Smithsonian Channel Video about the Discovery of Telomerase

While scientists are not yet able to accomplish the same results in humans we believe we have developed a nutraceutical to help prolong youth and possibly extend life until age reversal therapy for humans becomes available.

Stem Cell Secret’s of 115 Year Old Woman

New evidence that adult stem cells are critical to human aging has recently been published on a study done on a super-centenarian woman that lived to be 115 years. At death, her circulating stem cell pool had declined to just two active stem cells from stem cell counts that are typically more than a thousand in younger adults. Super-centenarians have survived all the normal diseases that kill 99.9% of us before 100 years of age, so it has been a mystery as to what actually kills these hardy individuals. This recent data suggest that stem cell decline may be the main contributor to aging. If so, stabilizing stem cells may be the best thing one can do to slow your rate of aging.

There are many theories of aging that have been proposed. For example, damage to cells and tissues from oxidative stress has been one of the most popular fundamental theories of aging for more than half a century. Yet antioxidant substances or genes that code antioxidant enzymes have proven largely ineffective in slowing aging when tested in model animals. Thus, interest by scientists has shifted to other hypotheses that might provide a better explanation for the slow declines in function with age.

Stem cells provide one such promising mechanism of aging. Of course, we all know that babies are young and vigorous, independent of the age of their parents. This is because adults have embryonic stem cells that can generate young new cells needed to form a complete young baby. Indeed, these embryonic stem cells are the product of continuously evolving stem cell populations that go back to the beginning of life on earth over 3.5 billion years ago!

In adults, the mostly immortal embryonic stem cells give rise to mortal adult stem cells in all the tissues of the body. These adult stem cells can regenerate your cells and tissues as they wear out and need replacement. Unfortunate, adult stem cells also age, which leads to fewer cells and/or loss of function in cell replacement. As functional stem cells decline, skin and organs decline with age.

Blood from world’s oldest woman suggests life limit

Time Magazine: Long-Life Secrets From The 115-Year-Old Woman

Somatic mutations found in the healthy blood compartment of a 115-yr-old woman demonstrate oligoclonal hematopoiesis

The somatic mutation burden in healthy white blood cells (WBCs) is not well known. Based on deep whole-genome sequencing, we estimate that approximately 450 somatic mutations accumulated in the nonrepetitive genome within the healthy blood compartment of a 115-yr-old woman. The detected mutations appear to have been harmless passenger mutations: They were enriched in noncoding, AT-rich regions that are not evolutionarily conserved, and they were depleted for genomic elements where mutations might have favorable or adverse effects on cellular fitness, such as regions with actively transcribed genes. The distribution of variant allele frequencies of these mutations suggests that the majority of the peripheral white blood cells were offspring of two related hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) clones. Moreover, telomere lengths of the WBCs were significantly shorter than telomere lengths from other tissues. Together, this suggests that the finite lifespan of HSCs, rather than somatic mutation effects, may lead to hematopoietic clonal evolution at extreme ages.

Increase Your Steps for a Longer Life

Walking is one of the best exercises a person can do to improve their fitness and health benefits. It can improve heart health and a recent study showed a 32% decrease in death from participants. The study was from 2011-2015 where the participants wore a step counting device to record their walking patterns and daily steps for 4-7 days. They added at least 2,000 extra steps a day in uninterrupted sessions. The devices measured the effects of the bouts of these sessions, which lasted for 10 minutes or longer.

The participants were all women aged 60 or older. This was a national study of heart disease, cancer and long-term disease called the Women’s Health Study. The participants were divided into two groups depending on the number of steps they took. The first group walked with few interruptions for 10 minutes or longer. The second group consisted of walking in short spurts during their regular daily activities. This included doing housework, walking to or from a car or taking the stairs. During a six year period, the researchers tracked deaths from any cause.

The study found they had 804 deaths during the study period. The main finding was that the participants who had taken more steps in short spurts tended to live longer. This was regardless of the amount of steps they had taken in longer, uninterrupted sessions. They saw a 32% decrease in deaths from participants that had taken more than 2,000 steps on a daily basis that was uninterrupted. Benefits to longevity were further associated with taking 2,000 additional steps during sessions.

In a follow-up period, an initial increase of 1,000 steps on a daily basis compared to no steps was associated with a decrease of 28% in death rates. A similar analysis with the same participants showed that taking 4,500 steps daily had a lower risk of death when compared to the least active women. This holds true even for women not engaging in uninterrupted sessions of walking.

More research is needed on other groups such as men, younger women and different ethnic and diverse racial groups to see if the research findings would apply to them also.

To view the original scientific study click below:
Taking more steps daily may lead to a longer life

Moderate Drinking Protects Against Heart Disease

A new study consisting of Australians and Americans over the age of 70 has shown that alcohol is linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. There was a decrease in mortality from all causes when compared to no alcohol consumption at all. Protection from heart disease can increase with an average intake of 3.5 to 7 alcohol drinks per week.

Excessive alcohol consumption is a significant contributor to the worldwide burden of disease and also a significant risk factor for mortality. However, earlier studies have shown that alcohol in moderation may be linked to a lower risk of CVD (cardiovascular disease). The current landmark study investigated the risk of CVD mortality and events from all causes linked to alcohol consumption in older healthy people.

Populations worldwide are aging. The study was a long-term, large-scale, multi-centre, bi-national study of health and aspirin in older people. The researchers wanted to discover ways for these people to maintain their health, independence, and quality of life as they aged.

Participants did not have have any previous CVD events, diagnosed dementia or physical disabilites that would limit independence. They self-reported any health issues in relation to CVD events such as non-fatal myocardial infarction, coronary heart disease death, fatal and non-fatal stroke, hospitalization for heart failure or non-coronary cardiac or vascular death.

Alcohol consumption was reported by noting days of alcohol consumption per week and the average standard size drinks each day. The study did exclude anyone who might have stopped drinking for a variety of health reasons. The alcohol was calculated by grams each week. The American participants used 14 grams for a standard drink and the Australian participants used 10 grams.

The alcohol consumption was categorized as 0 (never drinks), and those who drank 1-50g, 51-100g, 101-150g, and greater than 150g per week. For Americans that is up to 3.5, 3.5-7, 7-10 and over 10 standard drinks each week. And for Australians it was 5, 5-10, 10–14 and over 15 drinks each week.

Of the 18,000 participants the average age was 74. 57% were female, 43.3% were former or current smokers and the mean BMI was 281 kg/m2.

The participants reported the following:
18.6% consumed no alcohol each week
37.3% consumed 1-50g each week
19.7% consumed 51-100g each week
15.6% consumed 101-150g each week
8.9% consumed greater than 150g each week.

The group was followed for almost 5 years. The study discovered that there was a decreased risk of CVD events for people consuming alcohol levels of 51-100, 101-150, and greater than 150 grams each week. This was in comparison to people that never consume alcohol, regardless if they were male or female.

Consuming 51-100 grams per week was also linked with a reduced risk of mortality from all causes.

The team does say their findings should be interpreted with some caution as the participants were all healthy initially without any prior CVD or other severe diseases. And they could have been more socially and physically active than the larger aging population.

Additionally, earlier evidence has shown that excess alcohol consumption will increase the risk of a variety of other chronic diseases such as liver disease, cancer and pancreatitis.

To summarize, modest alcohol consumption with these participants that were older healthy adults was not detrimental for CVD or overall mortality. Additional research is needed to evaluate causal biological effects of alcohol consumption on health and the possibility of behavioral advantages of social engagement and drinking.

To view the original scientific study click below:
Alcohol consumption and risks of cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality in healthy older adults

Amino Acids to Inhibit Dementia

A study has shown that a diet which includes LP7, which is a very specific distinct combination of essential acids, might hinder the development of dementia including Alzheimer’s Disease.

The intake of protein is vital for the maintenance of the function of the brain in older people. Using mice with Alzheimer’s Disease as the model, the team has shown that consuming a distinct combination of Amino Acids can hinder brain cells from dying. It also protects the connections between them and shows a reduction in inflammation which preserves the health of the brain. The combination is called Amino LP7.

Dementia, which is a disease which involves extreme decrease in cognitive function, is manifested by various disorders including Alzheimer’s disease. According to the WHO, about 10,000,000 people around the globe develop this disease every year. This indicates the social impact and highly psychological impact of the disease. It mainly affects the older population and, thus far, effective and simple strategies for preventing it have been elusive.

With the recent research, the team demonstrated that a diet low in protein can speed up the degeneration of the brain in mouse models with Alzheimer’s. However, more significant, the team discovered that Amino LP7 which contains seven amino acids, can slow down dementia and the degeneration of the brain in these mice. The work actually expands upon previous research which has shown the benefit of the Amino LP7 in the improvement of cognitive function.

In the older population diets low in protein are associated with poorer maintenance of the function of the brain. Amino acids provide protein building blocks. The team wanted to see if supplementing with amino acids could guard the brain of older individuals from dementia. If positive, then what mechanisms contribute to the protective effect.

The team first studied the way a diet low in protein affects mouse model brains who had Alzheimer’s which typically demonstrate neurodegeneration and, “Tau”, which are abnormal aggregates found in the brain. They discovered that the mice who were consuming the lower protein diet showed accelerated degeneration of the brain but also showed signs of less neuron connectivity. Surprisingly, these effects from the low protein diet were reversed when Amino Acid LP7 was supplemented to the mice. This indicates that the mix of seven specific amino acids could hinder damage to the brain.

The team then examined just how Amino LP7 affects a variety of signs of degeneration of the brain in the mouse models with Alzheimer’s. The untreated mice displayed higher levels of increased brain degeneration. However, the Amino LP7 treatment subdued neuronal death and therefore reduced degeneration of the brain, although the Tau aggregates were still there. Tau plaques that remain in the brain can be a characteristic of Alzheimer’s and most of the treatments used will target them. But, the team has found that it is able to override the Tau deposition, therefore preventing atrophy of the brain with supplementation of Amino LP7.

Next the team wanted to understand how the amino mix offers protection to the brain. They completely analyzed the changes in the gene-level induced by the amino acid mix. They noted that Amino LP7 reduces inflammation of the brain and also will prevent kynurenine which is an inflammation inducer, from entry into the brain which prevents inflammatory immune cells from striking neurons. They additionally found that the amino mix reduced neuronal death and also improves neuronal connectivity which improves the function of the brain.

The studies results show that amino acids such as the Amino Acid LP7 helps maintain brain balance and prevent deterioration of the brain. This is the first study to find that a specific mix of amino acids can slow down the onset of dementia. And although the study used mice, it shows hope that the intake of amino acids might also alter the development of dementia in people including Alzheimer’s.

The study shows several avenues for the better understanding of how dementia occurs and how it can be prevented. The fact that Amino Acid LP7 will improve the function of the brain in the older population who do not have impairment of cognition, the findings do suggest that it might also be effective in humans who have cognitive dysfunction.

The Amino Acid LP7 is a patent pending supplement and might one day assist millions globally in a dementia-free and improved life.

To view the original scientific study click below:
Neurodegenerative processes accelerated by protein malnutrition and decelerated by essential amino acids in a tauopathy mouse model

New Therapy to Repair Severe Spinal Cord Injuries

Researchers have now developed an injectable therapy based on nanofibers that enabled paralyzed mice to walk again. It was developed by Northwestern Univ. and harnesses “dancing molecules” to repair and reverse tissue following a severe spinal cord injury.

The therapy sends bioactive signals triggering cells to regenerate and repair. It substantially improved seriously injured spinal cords in five different ways. These were extension of severed neurons regenerated, scar tissue substantially diminished, myelin reformed around the cells, blood vessels became functional delivering nutrients to the cells at the site of injury, and a large amount of motor neurons lived.

Following the therapy the materials biodegrade into nutrients that feed the cells for a period of twelve weeks. After that they disappear.

The study’s goal was to find a therapy to help people avoid paralysis after a disease or major trauma. It’s been a significant challenge due to our body’s central nervous system which has only a limited capacity to repair itself after an injury. The team is seeking FDA approval for their new therapy in people that have few options for treatment.

Currently, at least 300,000 people live with an injury to the spine in the U.S. and life for those people can be very challenging. Fewer than 3% of them that have a severe spinal injury will completely recover and be able to accomplish even the easiest physical tasks. About 30% wind up back in the hospital on a yearly basis which costs up to millions of dollars per patient for average lifetime care.

There are no therapeutics that will regenerate the spinal cord. The team was hoping to create a different outcome when there is a spinal cord injury. This could also create new science that addresses injury to the spinal cord that could also help develop strategies for strokes and other neurological degenerative diseases.

The secret with the breakthrough treatment is fine tuning the molecules motion so they are able to engage properly, constantly moving cellular receptors. When injected in liquid form, the therapy goes immediately into a very complex system of nano fibers that mimic the extracellular network of the spinal cord. Through matching the structure of the matrix, mimicking the motion of biological molecules and then incorporating receptor signals, this synthetic material communicates with the cells.

Neuron receptors and other type of cells are constantly revolving. The major innovation in their research is managing the motion of over 100,000 molecules without the nano fibers. Through making the molecules “dance” and even temporarily leap out of the structures, they can unite better with receptors. Since cells and their receptors are constantly in motion, it is imagined that molecules moving faster would encounter the receptors more often. If the molecules are social or sluggish, they could never come into cell contact.

The team discovered that fine tuning the motion of the molecules motion in the nanofiber system enabled them to be more agile resulting in even better therapeutic efficacy. Formulations of the therapy with added molecular motion created even better performance during in vitro tests using human cells which indicated increased cellular signaling and bioactivity.

Once the molecules are joined to the receptors, the molecules that are moving trigger 2 cascading signals which are both critical to repair of the spinal cord. One of the signals will prompt lengthened tails of neurons which are known as axons to regenerate. Damaging or severing axons could result in paralysis or loss of feeling. Repairing the axons will increase the communication from the brain to the body.

The next signal assists neurons to survive following an injury as it causes other types of cells to proliferate. This promotes lost blood vessels to regrow and feed the neurons and other critical cells to repair tissue. The therapy will also enable myelin to rebuild itself around axons and will reduce glial scarring that serves as a barrier to prevent spinal cord healing.

The signals utilized in this study copy the natural proteins which are necessary to induce the preferred biological responses. Proteins have very short half lives and are quite expensive to produce. Short peptides that are modified bond together by the thousands and are able to live for weeks in order to deliver bioactivity. Thus, the therapy lasts longer and is less expensive.

What they have successfully accomplished with the central nervous system tissues in spinal cord injuries are similar to those found in the brain which is affected by neurodegenerative diseases and stroke. The team believes that this new therapy can possibly prevent paralysis after major trauma to the spine as well as other diseases. But the real discovery is that supermolecular motion is a major factor in bioactivity. By controlling the molecular motion assemblies to enhance signaling of cells, it could be applied across biomedical targets universally.

To view the original scientific study click below:
Bioactive scaffolds with enhanced supramolecular motion promote recovery from spinal cord injury

Highly Processed Foods and Memory Loss in Aging Brains

A new study has found that aging rats who were put on a diet of highly processed foods for four weeks showed a strong inflammatory response that also included signs of memory loss. They discovered that adding omega-3 fatty acid DHA reduced the inflammatory effects and prevented problems with memory.

Cognitive problems and neuroinflammation were not detected in younger adult rats that were given the same diet.

The study copied ready-to-eat human foods which are packaged to stay on shelves for a long timeframe such as chips, frozen entrees, snacks and lunch meats that contain preservatives.

Highly processed foods are linked to type 2 diabetes and obesity which suggests the older population should scale back on these processed, convenient foods and instead add in foods rich in DHA such as fatty fish. This is especially important based on the harm to the rat’s aged brains in just four weeks of a diet on highly processed foods.

It is alarming to the researchers to see such drastic effects . The findings show that eating a diet of highly processed foods can produce abrupt and significant memory deficits. In the aging population any rapid decline in memory has a increased risk of progressing into neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

The lab studies everyday life events such as infections and surgery. In this case the study was on things that may induce inflammation in the brain such as an unhealthy diet. There was specific focus on the amygdala and the hippocampus regions of the brain.

The current study is in addition to earlier research which found that a short-term, high fat diet can develop into brain inflammation and memory loss in older animals. And further research showed DHA levels are lower in the amygdala and hippocampus of the older rat brains.

DHA is an omega 3 fatty acid which is present along with EPA in fatty fish and other seafood. DHA has multiple functions in the brain, one of which is deterring an inflammatory response. This study is the first of its kind to show action against brain inflammation due to a highly processed diet.

The team randomly assigned 24 month old and 3 month old male rats to their normal diet and a highly processed diet or the identical processed diet with added DHA. Gene activation which are linked to dynamic pro-inflammatory protein and other inflammation markers was remarkably elevated in the amygdala and hippocampus of the aged rats that consumed the highly processed diet.

The aged rats on the highly processed diet also indicated signs of memory loss when given behavioral experiments that were not shown in the younger rats. The older rats forgot time spent in an unfamiliar place within just a few days which is a sign of problems in the hippocampus with contextual memory. They also did not show any expectant fear to a danger cue which suggests abnormalities in the amygdala.

Human amydala has been connected with memory associations with emotions such as anxiety and fear producing events. When this area of the brain is not working quite right, cues that could predict danger could be missed and might lead to some bad decisions.

The results indicate that supplementation with DHA in the highly processed diets eaten by the older rats was effective at preventing inflammatory response elevations in the brain in addition to signs of memory loss.

The team was not aware of the exact DHA dosage or even the precise nutrients and calories consumed by the rats as they all had unlimited access to their food. Both groups did gain a substantial amount of weight on the highly processed diet, with the aged rats gaining substantially more than the younger rats. Supplementation of DHA did not have any preventative effect on gaining weight linked with consuming the processed foods.

This was a crucial finding and the team cautions against interpreting their results as a go ahead for people to consume lots of highly processed food as long as they take DHA supplements. It is better to prevent a variety of negative effects of high processed foods by focusing on the improvement of the diet overall. These are diets that are shown as being low in fat but they are also highly processed foods. They have no refined carbohydrates and no fiber. People who look at nutritional information need to look at the quality of carbohydrates and fiber. The study shows these are important.

To view the original scientific study click below:
Dietary DHA prevents cognitive impairment and inflammatory gene expression in aged male rats fed a diet enriched with refined carbohydrates

Improve Heart Health and Metabolism with Hunger Hormone Fasting

A study has found that the amount of the fasting hormone ghrelin rebounds following weight loss. It can help decrease belly fat and also improve a person’s insulin sensitivity. It is stomach derived and stimulates appetite. Levels of ghrelin rise when fasting overnight during sleep. The levels will then fall when a person eats again.

The clinical trial discovered that dieting causes elevation of fasting levels of ghrelin. That elevation is linked to abdominal visceral loss of fat and improved sensitivity to insulin. This suggests that people who show a high level of fasting ghrelin after weight loss may face a reduced risk in developing a metabolic disease such as diabetes.

People who followed the green Mediterranean diet that included a leafy vegetable called Mankai and green tea and also left out meat have a two-fold greater elevation in fasting ghrelin levels than those who followed the traditional Mediterranean diet or a healthy balanced diet.

The study has suggested that fasting ghrelin levels may serve as a benefit and valuable measure of cardiometabolic health after weight loss.

The results found that the green Mediterranean diet is a better version of the healthy Mediterranean diet in the Direct Plus trial. This clinical trial looked at the fasting ghrelin level in 294 people over an 18 month period. During the trial, the participants that had either dyslipideia (elevated fats or cholesterol in the blood) or abdominal obesity were randomized to 1 of 3 diets. This was after following a health dietary guideline, the Mediterranean diet, or the green Mediterranean diet that was based on plant protein and had no red meat. All participants were asked to exercise, were provided with lunches and given memberships to gyms.

The people following the green Mediterranean diet which included a daily diet of Mankai and green tea had levels of fasting ghrelin twice as high as those who were on the traditional Mediterranean diet. This happened even though there were similar caloric restrictions and loss of weight.

The fasting ghrelin levels elevation may help to explain why the green Mediterranean diet reduced fat of the liver, optimized the microbiome and improved cardiometabolic health more than the other 2 diets.

The results have suggested that fasting ghrelin is a crucial hormonal factor in the diet-linked recovery of insulin sensitivity and belly fat reduction. The differential, diet specific response to fasting ghrelin levels elevation could be another mechanism where distinct dietary regimens such as the green Mediterranean diet reduce the risk of cardiometabolic disease.

To view the original scientific study click below:
Diet-induced fasting ghrelin elevation reflects the recovery of insulin sensitivity and visceral adiposity regression

Lasers Utilized to Transform Adult Stem Cells

New research from the University of Johannesburg has shown that stem cells from adipose tissue replicate faster when a near-infrared laser is shined on them. A green laser can then be used to transform the stem cells into differentiated cells. These two procedures performed under laboratory conditions resulted in faster proliferation and differentiation.

When the body is injured, it can repair itself up to a point. Unfortunately some conditions are so severe that healing is limited. Stem cell therapy can help, although the success rate needs to be improved.

Adipose stem cells are found in human fatty tissue. Everyone has these and they can differentiate into most other cell types such as liver, bone, or heart cells to repair the body.

In the study a laser light that shined a specific wavelength on the stem cells was used to stimulate a response. That caused the cells to multiply faster which is called proliferation. Next in order to repair the body, the stem cells need to change into the type of cells needed which is called differentiation.

The researchers found that near-infrared laser light didn’t promote differentiation sufficiently by itself. After shining a green laser light on the stem cells in sequence with the infrared laser there was a 54% increase in proliferation. There was also increased differentiation.

This research was done in the lab using commercial cell lines. Clinical trials on humans using lasers is a few years off.

To view the original scientific study click below:
Single and consecutive application of near-infrared and green irradiation modulates adipose derived stem cell proliferation and affect differentiation factors

Bone Regeneration and Biomaterials

Craniomaxillofacial (CMF) defects or bone injuries in the skull and face are caused by all kinds of accidents – vehicle, battlefield or sport. To repair these defects a variety of cells need to work with each other making it a difficult process. New research is investigating the reconstruction materials that are being used to discover which would be the most effective for craniomaxillofacial and other bone injuries.

More than 2 million surgeries for bone grafts occur worldwide annually. CMF bone grafts are typically irregularly shaped and this is why they are often repaired with the use of regenerative biomaterials. A lab develops scaffold biomaterials from collagen which contain components that are present in bone, such as phosphate and calcium ions and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) or sugar compounds.

The lab focuses on the development of degradable biomaterials which are called scaffolds for tissue and bone repair. There are a variety of cell types in the environment of the bone that assist in healing including stem cells that will form bone and monocytes that assist with immune response. The current research studied how these scaffold materials will affect the combination of the behavior of the variety of these cells.

The team used collagen biomaterial that included one of 3 different varieties of GAGs that are found in the environment of the bone – heparin, chondroitin–6-sulfate, and chondroitin-4-sulfate. They then researched how these particular GAGs will influence processes which are important to the regeneration of bone such as activation of immune cells, stem cell movement, and endothelial cell activity which are all important in the development of new blood vessels.

The surrounding solution or media was obtained from attaching the stem cells to the scaffolds for 21 days. Stem cells are dynamic molecule factories that can affect other cells in an injury environment. After the collection process, the conditioned solution was added to cultures of endothelial cells from blood vessels. Regeneration of bone is needed for the growth of blood vessels and there have been minimal research on how scaffold materials will affect endothelial cells and how they can improve the repair of bone.

The team followed the growth of the endothelial cells for 6-12 hours. And although heparin is known to be able to effect the formation of blood vessels, to the team’s surprise the media that was generated by stem cells in chondroitin-6-sulfate scaffolds showed the largest amount of the development of blood vessels when compared to the other 2 scaffolds.

Also studied was the media that was conditioned to choose the types of molecules which are known as soluble factors, that help in bone and blood vessel development. The team then added the conditioned media to the monocytes and followed their increase for 21 days to calculate the immune cell types they turned into. They discovered that the numbers and types of soluble factors for each type of scaffold were different. Chondroitin-6-sulfate media made the largest amount of immune cells that assist with an inflammatory response.

The team is now planning to investigate further the stem cell responses. Stem cells are able to signal to monocytes when the body sounds an alarm that there is something wrong. They would like to see if the stem cells that have been grown in the scaffolds in an environment that is inflammatory, will secrete another mix of soluble factors.

The results indicate that soluble factors do play a significant part in the multicellular systems. They have shown that cell responses are different and is dependent on the material used. It is important to understand and know these interactions before moving on to experiments that can be difficult.

It isn’t clear what characteristic of the scaffold materials is adding to the differences in the cell and growth factors which is a challenge the lab plans to take on next. After identifying how the scaffolds influence the cells, they want to blend the cell type varieties to see what happens with this course of action. The team is trying to develop biomaterials that can be used by surgeons to assist in the repair of bone defects. So understanding what the materials do to a variety of types of cells is important.

To view the original scientific study click below:
Glycosaminoglycan content of a mineralized collagen scaffold promotes mesenchymal stem cell secretion of factors to modulate angiogenesis and monocyte differentiation