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Under the Microscope

DRI Milan: Stem Cells from Body Fat Transformed

Our DRI Federation partners in Milan, Italy, report cells from body fat may represent an excellent source of stem cells. In initial research, it was possible to transform at least a portion of these body fat (or adipose-derived) stem cells into insulin-producing cells.

DRI Scientific Director Dr. Camillo Ricordi reported on the recent data at the 5th Annual Translational Stem Cell Conference held in New York. According to Dr. Ricordi, the adipose-derived stem cells can be easily obtained from the patient's own subcutaneous (under the skin) tissue and in experimental models, and it was possible to transform at least a portion of these adipose-derived stem cells into insulin-producing cells.

The preliminary data are encouraging. "We are confident that cell-based therapy and regenerative medicine strategies will play a critical role in cure-focused strategies for diabetes," says Dr. Ricordi. "While the ultimate source of stem cells is yet to be defined, it is critically important that scientists worldwide continue to explore the potential of different sources of stem cells and related technologies, until the best unlimited source of insulin producing tissue for treating human diabetes will be defined."

The study manuscript, "Adipocyte transplantation and stem cells: Plastic surgery meets regenerative medicine," is currently in press with Cell Transplantation.

DRI Milan is investigating stem cells from body fat.
Researchers at DRI Milan are working to transform stem cells from body fat into insulin-producing cells.


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