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Stem Cells Treating Diabetic Wounds

Mar 21, 2013

Diabetic patients have an impaired ability to heal wounds, so there is a critical need to develop new treatments to improve healing….

This is particularly the case with foot wounds, as foot ulceration will affect up to 25 per cent of people suffering from diabetes during their lives. The ulceration can result in amputation.

The type of stem cells, called mesenchymal stem cell (MSC), was used with biomedical material made from collagen and showed to increase healing in diabetic wounds. MSCs can be isolated from humans without difficulty and grow very fast in the laboratory. The stem cells can release factors that increase new blood vessel development. This can increase the amount of blood flow to improve healing as well.

Professor Timothy O’Brien from the Regenerative Medicine Institute says, "This data will now allow us to proceed to apply for approval to carry out first in human studies of this therapeutic approach. We are currently preparing the regulatory submission to undertake a human clinical trial. Meanwhile, part of the funding needed to pursue the human clinical trial has been received from Diabetes Ireland." He added that MSC’s have many attractive therapeutic properties, and can be isolated from adults and are easy to grow in the laboratory.

This treatment could be a breakthrough in quick healing process of diabetic wounds. Since 25% of diabetics develop ulceration, this treatment may be the key tool in healing them and preventing amputation. Hopefully in the future we will see this regenerative medicine used in human trials.

Diabetes, 2013; DOI: 10.2337/db12-1822