April 22, 2024

Fat to become nerves

Accident victims could have nerves restored with the help of stem cells from their own fat. Scientists at the University of Manchester in the UK have managed to transform fat stem cells into nerve cells. They hope to use these to create artificial nerves to restore movement to damaged limbs. If all goes well, clinical trials could begin within three or four years, according to Professor Giorgio Terenghi.

In a study reported in the journal Experimental Neurology, the Manchester team succeeded in creating nerve cells in animals. The next steps are to wrap the nerve cells up in a biodegradable polymer tube and then to insert it between the two ends of the severed nerve so that it can regenerate.