A team of researchers have developed a synthetic cardiac stem cell that greatly reduces the risks associated with standard stem cell therapy. Led by Ke Cheng, associate professor in BME and Molecular Biomedical Sciences, the team is hopeful that this new breakthrough could mean faster, safer, and more cost-effective solutions for patients. Traditional stem cell therapy is very effective; however, its self-repairing mechanism is sometimes associated with side effects such as tumor growth and immune rejection. To combat these issues, Cheng’s team has developed a synthetic cell that “operates in much the same way that a deactivated vaccine works.” The new cells are durable and robust and function in the same way the traditional cells do, except they cannot amplify or replicate themselves, removing the likelihood of tumor growth.
You can read more about the study on NC State News, or read the original article in Nature Communications.