Stem cells are one hypefest that peaked before the curve. Years after they were trumpeted as a cure-all, and encouraged surgical butchery in unscrupulous countries, research programmes are beginning to bear some fruit. Even with the recent setback in the United States over embryonic stem cells, results have begun to be published.
A recent paper on the introduction of adult stem cells to damaged heart tissue has begun to answer some of the deep problems:
- How do you inject stem cells into damaged tissues?
- How do you ensure that the stem cells survive and begin to replace the damaged tissue?
- Can any clinical programme resulting from this research satisfy the FDA or other medical regulators?
The answer lies in technique and tools, rather then the content, with some nifty engineering and biomechanical materials: