Stem cells are the foundation of each specialized cell in our body. They are the base in the formation of each tissue and organ. Professor G.V. Shivashankar, who teaches at the FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology (IFOM) and National University of Singapore (NUS) in Italy, has found out in his recent research that the mature cells can be conditioned into re-deployable stem cells without any help of generic modifications. The process takes places by enclosing them in a specific geometric shape for a specific period of time.
Over a decade ago, scientists had discovered that mature cells could be reprogrammed into pluripotent stem cells, which will be able to develop into any type of cell in the body. However, the specialized cells that were made out of IPSCs were being formed as tumor once introduced in the body and to understand why this occurred, the scientists shifted their research to find out the growth and stem cell differentiation.
A Boon for Regenerative Medicine
When the fibroblast cells were organized in rectangular shapes, they quickly adapted the shape of the substrate, which conveyed that the cells were measuring and adapting to the environment around them. They also signaled the information to nucleus where the DNA genome and packaging programs will transform the same. According to Professor Shivshankar, the findings will pave way to the next-gen stem cell technologies pertaining to regenerative medicine and tissue engineering overall.
The formation of cells into spherical clusters takes about 10 days. The analysis of genetics revealed that the particular feature of chromatin that is correlated with mature fibroblasts disappeared by sixth day and by the tenth day the cells were expressing genes that are associated with IPSCs and embryonic stem cells.
Therefore, this discovery has made it easier for the researchers to originate stem cells from mature cells rather than genetically transforming them.