Thursday, March 13, 2008

Carbon nanotubes and stem cells: happy together?

David Cyranoski & Monya Baker report in the 7 March 08 issue of the journal Nature:

A Californian biotech company claims that it has used carbon nanotubes to ‘reprogramme’ adult human cells to an embryonic-like state a breakthrough that removes the elevated risk of cancer that blights other techniques. But uncertainties about the cells, which have yet to be reported in a peer-reviewed journal, have left many skeptical.

A press release at nanotechnology now states:

In a news release last week, PrimeGen announced at the Stem Cell Summit meeting in New York City that company researchers have, for the first time, successfully used non-viral technologies to reprogram adult human cells into stem cells that the company refers to as intermediate iPS cells. Unlike embryonic stem cells, induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, are derived directly from a patient's adult human tissues such as skin. PrimeGen will have access to Unidym's extensive patent portfolio, services and industry standard HIPCO® carbon nanotubes.

"We're excited to bring together leaders in the field of nanotechnology materials science with our talented team of stem cell researchers," said Thomas C.K. Yuen, CEO, PrimeGen Biotech. "Our combined efforts will undoubtedly generate important advances in the field of regenerative medicine and bring us closer to the day when clinically safe and effective individualized stem cell therapies can be administered in a routine manner to patients."


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