The Regenerative Medicine Biotrust enables the Center for Regenerative Medicine to collect, process and store cells and other biospecimens from individual patients. As a patient's own cells are often used as a starting point for regenerative therapies, having them readily available in the biotrust is critical.
Initially, plans are for the Regenerative Medicine Biotrust to include umbilical cord blood, adult stem cells and bioengineered progenitor cells that span the spectrum of health and disease. These banked specimens could potentially be used in a wide range of clinical and research applications.
Regenerative medicine applications
Examples of what the Regenerative Medicine Biotrust may enable include:
- Tissue and organ engineering. In the laboratory, a patient's banked cells could be converted into induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, which are stem cells able to differentiate into nearly every cell type found in the body. These patient-specific iPS cells could eventually be used to build new tissues, or even whole organs, for that patient when he or she needs them.
- Drug response testing. To evaluate how a patient's disease responds to a particular drug before the patient receives the drug, researchers could derive iPS cells from that patient's banked cells. The iPS cells could be converted into various types of cells, all of which would be affected by the patient's disease. This would give doctors a model on which to test drug responses and determine the most effective treatment for that patient's exact disease.
- Disease modeling. By comparing stem cells derived from patients who have inherited diseases with stem cells derived from their healthy family members, banked cell lines could be used to gain new insights into the pathophysiology that contributes to disease progression in specific family members.