A study on the use of mesenchymal stem cells 3D culture in animals
Cristina G. Pedraz/DICYT Mesenchymal cells are adult stem cells from bone marrow. Due to their regenerative properties, they are “a major tool to develop new therapeutic strategies in order to solve problems that present-day medicine is not able to satisfactorily resolve”. As we were told by Francisco Javier Iglesias Muñoz, director of the Banco de Tejidos de Castilla y León (a tissue bank) and member of the Fundación Clínica San Francisco de León, a body researching on the use of Mesenchymal stem cells 3D culture in animals, with applications in clinical areas such as ophthalmology, traumatology and cardiac surgery.
As he has explained to DICYT, Mesenchymal stem cells culture in 3D matrices or scaffolds “allows us to reproduce the conditions occurring in living organisms”, therefore, “to maintain functions in Vitro”. Furthermore, inside these matrices, they can introduce “cells, growth factors or drugs, and control their release over time, triggering different effects according to what is required”.
This research area, as he explains, was born from the tissue bank’s own policy: “looking for solutions to problems presented by practitioners, trying to use what basic research teaches to clinical medicine”. In this regard, he insists, trying to reproduce the physiological conditions cells undergo in living tissues “has proven to be an efficient technique to produce tissue elements that may be able to substitute injured or diseased tissues and organs, or to favor regeneration”.
Researchers around the world have chosen this technique because of its potential applications in virtually all medicine areas. In the case of the tissue bank, “we have worked with Mesenchymal stem cells 3D cultures in different medicine branches such as ophthalmology, traumatology, cardiac surgery and cardiothoracic surgery; results have been promising”, he adds. The research team is currently at the experimental stage.
“We are trying to reproduce results from in Vitro studies in animal models”, Francisco Javir Iglesis Muñoz states; he also highlights that technique’s validation and optimization in an animal model are “extremely important”, that is, “to determine what is the best way to perform therapies, the ideal doses or the monitoring of the lesion”. “All this to make application in humans as save and efficient as possible.”, he concludes.
Working Closely with IOBA
The director of the Banco de Tejidos of the Fundación Clínica San Francisco de León has recently participated in one of the research seminars by the Insituto de Oftalmobiología Aplicada (IOBA), an institution of applied ophthalmobiology, in Valladolid, Spain; with which the center has a “close relationship”.
“We are working together in several research projects focused on eye tissue regeneration”, we were told by Iglesias Muñoz, who has a bearing on the multidisciplinary teams setting up. Collaboration between different research teams “is currently essential to develop quality studies”.