Dr. Mark J. Holterman works as the professor of surgery and pediatrics at the University of Illinois College of Medicine. Passionate about stem cell therapy, Mark J. Holterman, MD, is also the cofounder of the Alliance for the Advancement of Cellular Therapies, which strives to advance the field of cell therapy while increasing public awareness and access.
A recent breakthrough, published in the journal Stem Cells Translational Medicine, allows doctors to more effectively deliver stem cells to the brain for patients with neurological diseases like Parkinson’s.
Dr. Marcel Daadi, one of the scientists who published the paper, said that developing an effective, reproducible, and safe delivery system is the first step in exploring the potential of various stem cell lines. Current stem cell delivery limitations include injection site inaccuracy and inconsistent cell survival. When it comes to disorders affecting the brain the risk of delivering stem cells is great, where injections can puncture blood vessels and cause hemorrhaging.
The newly developed MRI-guided technique delivers stem cells with high accuracy and relatively little invasiveness. The new method also allows doctors to see how the brain disperses the cells in real-time, something impossible to see using older delivery methods.
The scientists hope this new development will make stem cell transplants safer and more effective, while addressing some of the therapy’s current limitations.