Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Glue to the rescue

an article at says glue can be used to culture some forms of stem cells:

Scientists used commercially available liquid glue to culture difficult-to-proliferate stem cells. Cheap liquid glue commonly found in stationery shops and convenience stores is a perfectly acceptable alternative to a pricey fluid normally used to culture stem cells for the treatment of leukemia patients, researchers say.

Asahi Shimbun file photo
The glue contains Polyvinyl alcohol which can be used to replace the more expensive albumin etc that they are using now.

Stem cells have been pushed as a cure all, and despite all the propaganda about the need to kill embryos to get them, the real progress has been developing ways for a person's own stem cells to be used.

Ah, but there are problems, including that the liquid they grow in costs lots and lots of money and the problem of growing enough cells to make the transplant work.

 So, for example, it is actually easier to get a bone marrow transplant than to try to regrow your own.

Nature Magazine reports:

 Researchers have managed to grow large numbers of blood-forming stem cells in the lab using a surprisingly simple ingredient found in glue. And when injected into mice, the cells started producing key components of blood.,,
Nakauchi screened a bunch of polymers that he thought could replace albumin, and found that a synthetic compound called polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), often used in glues, did the trick. PVA has also been used to culture embryos and embryonic stem cells. “It’s quite easy. People can go to Safeway and get glue,” Nakauchi says. Laboratory versions of PVA work better than those from the supermarket, he says, and the polymer, which is used in tablet coatings, is deemed non-toxic by regulatory agencies.
so who could benefit from this?

People with various blood cancers/leukemias, and maybe even people with sickle cell disease.

so far, it is being done only on mice, but if it works out, it could save a lot of lives.

Wikipedia article on polyvinyl alcohol

more information on it's other uses HERE.

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