In 2006, scientists discovered that it was possible to isolate stem cells found within urine and use them to differentiate into different types of autologous cells. When you put aside your natural revulsion, you can see that these types of stem cells have a variety of benefits, since harvesting them is as easy as filling a cup
We are now seeing the fruits of this stem cell research into urine derived stem cells. In the past year, there have been a new frontier of stem cell studies into urine derived stem cells with a variety of interesting applications.
BUILDING ADRENAL GLANDS
At the beginning of the year, researchers from Queen Mary University were able to generate artificial adrenal glands using urine derived stem cells. Adrenal glands produce a variety of important hormones including adrenaline, cortisol, and aldosterone. Adrenal gland disorders can disrupt the proper flow of these hormones causing all manner of serious health problems.
Using these artificial urine glands, scientists would be able to create adrenal disease models that doctors can use to test the characteristics of adrenal disorders and come up with personalized treatment plans for patients.
However, the true hope for this stem cell research is to one day be able to replace defective adrenal glands entirely using artificial glands grown from the patient’s own urine.
“It is a first step in generating an artificial adrenal gland which would benefit all patients with adrenal insufficiency,” researcher Leonardo Guasti told Labiotech.eu. “Regenerative medicine for adrenal disorders has been neglected compared to efforts to generate functional endocrine pancreas to cure type-I diabetes. This study closes the gap.”
KIDNEY RESEARCH AND DRUG TESTING
In addition to adrenal glands, another study from Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf found that urine derived stem cells could also prove to be powerful tools for kidney research and drug testing because they originate directly from the kidney.
That means growing kidney organoids directly from a patient’s urine derived stem cells would provide a near perfect replica, allowing for highly accurate, tailored analysis without requiring invasive surgery.
“Combined with HLA analysis and analysis of the patient’s CYP variants, the cells are perfectly suited for individualized drug screening, dose determination, disease modelling in vitro and eventually kidney-associated cell therapies,” the study said.
Easier to harness than other types of stem cells, and featuring an almost infinite supply, harnessing urine derived stem cells circumvents many of the ethical and practical barriers that have held back mainstream stem cell usage.
While RegenerVate doesn’t use urine-derived stem cells quite yet, we harness your body’s stem cells to quicken healing using tested techniques like platelet rich plasma injections and adipose derived stem cell treatments. Call today for a consultation.