An expansion of healthy HSCs in the lab would mean that fewer stem cells need to be retrieved from donors. It also suggests that adult blood stem cells could be frozen and banked for future expansion and use — which is not currently possible.
New research has engineered a protein to amplify adult HSCs once they were extracted from the bone marrow of a donor. The engineered protein maintains the expanded HSCs in a stem-like state — meaning, they will not differentiate into specialized blood cell types before they are transplanted in the recipient's bone marrow.
"Our work demonstrates that we can overcome a major technical hurdle in the expansion of adult blood stem cells, making it possible, for the first time, to produce them on an industrial scale," said Dr. Pengbo Zhou, professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College.
Adapted from the Weill Cornell Medical College announcement. Read further here.