Researchers Convert Skin To Blood – Scientists at Canada’s McMaster University claimed that they have figured out how to make blood out of human skin.
This discovery could eventually mean that patients who need blood for surgery, cancer treatment or treatment of blood conditions like anemia will be able to have blood created from a patch of their own skin to provide transfusions.
According to the lead researcher Mick Bhatia, skin cells that are removed from the patient can be multiplied in a petri dish and converted into a large quantity of blood cells, which themselves can be multiplied.
In addition, Bhatia, scientific director of the Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute in Mc Master’s Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine said: “We are hoping that about 4-by-3-centimeters patch of skin could be removed from the patient, be converted through this process, which we clearly have to optimize, and ultimately have enough to transplant a full-grown adult.”
The researchers were able to convert the cells directly without first converting them to pluripotent stem cell, which is the kind that can grow into any type of organ or tissue, and then converting them again to blood.
Samuel Weiss, a professor and director, Hotchkiss Brain Institute, University of Calgary, said: “This groundbreaking work from Mick Bhatia’s lab is both fascinating and important. It heralds a new age by discovering a role for directed differentiation in the treatment of cancers and other disorders of the blood and immune system.”
The study was financed by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute, the Stem Cell Network and the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation. The research was published in Monday’s edition of journal Nature.