Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The future of cosmetic applications for stem cells

From World Health News:


30-year-old mother-of-two Claudia Castillo needed a new left bronchus after her airways had been damaged by tuberculosis. Transplanting airways has always been very problematic and such transplants are usually unsuccessful. Therefore researchers at the University of Bristol in England embarked upon growing the woman a new airway.
Writing in The Lancet, the authors conclude: “The results show that we can produce a cellular, tissue-engineered airway with mechanical properties that allow normal functioning, and which is free from the risks of rejection. The findings suggest that autologous cells combined with appropriate biomaterials might provide successful treatment for patients with serious clinical disorders.”

There are far reaching implications for this in plastic surgery and cosmetic dermatology. The use of stem cells to grow body parts is something out of science fiction but is now a reality. Someday we may be able to grow breasts or other body parts that have been removed or never formed.

Current work is on fat stem cell transplants for breast reconstruction and facial augmentation, but someday many diseased organs may be repaired and even cosmetic applications will be found. The concept for cosmetic purposes goes back two decades when investigators first took human cells known as fibroblasts and were able to grow collagen from these cells.

It was thought that if such cells were taken from an individual, were then induced in culture to form collagen --- and that collagen was re-injected into that individual’s wrinkles – the results would be permanent. Unfortunately, they were not. Things clearly have changed. Now that a full bronchus has been formed, skin, breasts and hair may not be far behind.

Thanks for reading,

Dr. David Goldberg
Skin Laser & Surgery Specialists of New York & New Jersey

Sanctuary Medical Aesthetic Center

1 comment:

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