One of the goals of regenerative medicine is to custom engineer needed cells, organs, and tissues to replace or repair diseased or injured patients. NYSCF Research Institute scientists use stem cells to generate patient-specific bone and other tissues with an ultimate aim to fully treat disease and injury. To create patient-specific bone, NYSCF scientists take skin cells from patients, and reprogram them into induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, which can become any type of cell in the body. The scientists then cultivate these iPS cells, prompting them to differentiate into bone-forming progenitors. These cells are then seeded onto a three-dimensional scaffold, which is placed into a bioreactor. This device, like the body, shuttles important nutrients to the growing tissue and removes waste. After a length of time, the bone is formed.
NYSCF scientists use iPS cells to overcome limitations from other techniques using embryonic stem cells and bone marrow-derived cells to develop not only hard bone mineral composite but also nerves, connective tissue and complex vasculature that a true graft require.