An advanced stem cell growth solution that may potentially lead to a search for a Parkinson's cure, according to a communiqué released today by Rainbow Biosciences. The company is working towards having such technology on the market as soon as possible.
Scientists say that ethical dilemmas and government restrictions have made stem cell research breakthrough much more difficult to achieve. Add to this the difficulty in controlling stem cell behavior in the lab, and the task seems even harder.
Rainbow Biosciences says that one way to accelerate research projects and make them advance more efficiently is to increase the availability of top-quality adult stem cells for research.
Rainbow says it is working on this. It is in discussions with Regenetech regarding acquiring a license to perform cell expansion using its Rotary Cell Culture System, which was originally developed by NASA.
Rainbow Biosciences wrote:
"The Rotary Cell Culture SystemM is a rotating-wall bioreactor designed to facilitate the growth of human cells in simulated weightlessness. Cell cultures, including stem cells, grown inside the bioreactor look and function much closer to human cells grown within the body than the flat cell cultures grown in Petri dishes."
The company would like to bring the bioreactor to "emerging research markets" which do not face as many regulatory roadblocks. They say this will help activate "billions of dollars' worth of research" into potential cures for Parkinson's disease, as well as some the disorders of the nervous system.
Rainbow Biosciences says that this new addition to the stem cell research world will compete alongside industry giants, such as Amgen Inc., Celgene Corporation, Gilead Sciences Inc., and Gynzyme Corp.
In 2011, scientists from the University of Edinburgh reported in the journal Nature Communications that they had made a "breakthrough" in Parkinson's disease. They had successfully grown stem cells from the skin of a patient with rapidly progressing Parkinson's. The cells, which mimic Parkinson's features, should help researchers understand the disease more accurately. They added that with the stem cells they may also determine why exactly some nerve cells die.
Parkinson's DiseaseParkinson's disease is a nervous system disorder that affects how the patient moves, including their writing and speech. It is a progressive disorder which may start off with ever-so-slight tremors in one hand. Patients also experience stiffness and find they are unable to carry out movements as rapidly as before (bradykinesia). Muscles become weaker and the individual often assumes an unusual posture.
Parkinson's disease symptoms are caused by a loss of dopaminergic cells (types of nerve cells) in the substantia nigra part of the brain. These cells are responsible for producing the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine helps transmit body control and coordination movement messages from the substantia nigra to another area of the brain, the corpus striatum - when these two parts of the brain communicate properly, there is good muscle movement and coordination.
If the Dopaminergic brain cells are damaged or destroyed, dopamine production is reduced and the messages from one part of the brain to the other are affected. Parkinson's disease symptoms get worse as dopamine levels drop.
Written by Christian Norddqvist