Dr Stuart Reid (Univ of the West of Scotland)
Giving stem cells a good nano-kicking
Our lectures are free and open to all. There is no need to book but please come early to avoid disappointment. Each lecture will be followed by a short chat with the speaker over tea and coffee.
In the future the use of stem cells will be key for many regenerative therapies. Stem cells of particular interest are mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which can be isolated from bone marrow, cultured in the laboratory and then used back in the patient for tissue and organ regeneration. However the ability to control cell growth and differentiation is limited and this is a major hurdle to clinical use of these cells. Over recent years, an unlikely collaboration between cell biologists and astrophysicists in Scotland have developed an entirely new technique, called “nanokicking”. The use of tiny nanometre-scale “kicks” has been demonstrated to persuade stem cells to form bone in the laboratory. As will be explained, this technique has huge scope for treating patients with spinal injuries, growing bone grafts in the laboratory, treating conditions such as osteoporosis, and beyond.