Scientists at the CSIRO have found a new way to harvest stem cells which reduces the time required to obtain adequate numbers of cells, without the need for a growth factor, according to research published in Nature Communications. “Current harvesting methods take a long time and require injections of a growth factor to boost stem cell numbers. This often leads to side effects. The method … combines a newly discovered molecule (known as BOP), with an existing type of molecule (AMD3100) to mobilise the stem cells found in bone marrow out into the bloodstream. Combining the two molecules directly impacts stem cells so they can be seen in the blood stream within an hour of a single dosage.” The researchers also found that “when the harvested cells are transplanted they can replenish the entire bone marrow system, and there are no known side effects”. The next step is a Phase I clinical trial assessing the combination of BOP molecule with the growth factor, prior to the eventual successful combination of the two small molecules BOP and AMD3100. The research was done in collaboration with the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute at Monash University.
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