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LSU invention may revolutionize stem cell research

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BATON ROUGE - Researchers at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine have made a breakthrough in stem cell testing through a new invention.

Dr. Mandi Lopez, the Director of the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine’s Laboratory for Equine and Comparative Orthopedic Research, worked with LSU engineering students to create a booster physicians and veterinarians need to treat tendon injuries more effectively.

“We created a kind of one-stop-shop device,” Lopez said.

Dr. Lopez says stem cell treatment for equine is common, and can help on their recovery process after an injury. During the stem cell process, doctors take the stem cells from one container into another, so they can be injected into the animal. Dr. Lopez says each time stem cells move a portion of them die. 

In an effort to preserve more of the cells, Dr. Lopez designed a new syringe that can act as a storage device. 

“We take the next step and transport it and administer it with minimal to no handling and that’s exactly what we did,” Lopez said.

With this new invention, the stem cells are given to the patient from the same device that they are kept in. Lopez says the device is in the early stages of development.

“Right now, it’s in a prototype phase, and it can be customized in virtually any direction,” Lopez said.

This patented system is being tested on horses and keeps more adult stem cells alive, which is the key to successful healing.

“Our goal is to inject neo-tissue tendon injuries,” Lopez said. “We have gone through a number of preliminary steps to confirm that it does indeed work for that purpose."

Along with preserving more cells, the new device limits risks of contamination.

“It’s attached to a standard syringe, so in the first step, the support medium is removed by advancing the first tab,” Lopez said. “Then we attach the needle, and it’s ready to inject the neo-tissue by simply pushing the second tab.”

Researchers don’t have a timeframe for when the treatment might be available to the public.


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