Research swine are contributing to research studies that focus on restorative therapies to replace lost or diseased human tissues.
While the amount of suitable human cells for transplantation is lacking, porcine cells offer researchers a suitable, and much more available, alternative.
In 2014, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh found that cells derived from porcine organs – in this case, bladders – could work with human stem cells help build muscles in the legs of five men who had suffered severe injuries, including two soldiers injured by IEDs.
All five had suffered from nearly 60 percent to 90 percent of leg muscle loss, and had undergone surgery and physical therapy, with no success.
According to MedPage Today, three of the five patients saw marked improvement in their ability to walk, climb and stand in the six months after the porcine extracellular matrix scaffolding was placed during surgery.
The porcine cells enhanced the stem cells’ ability to form dense muscle tissue, said Dr. Stephen F. Badylak, who led the study.
“When you lose so much muscle that the gap is too large for the normal restorative processes to occur, the end result is typically filling that gap with scar tissue,” Badylak said.
But his work found “an effective method for restoring new functional enervated and vascularized muscle tissue, using an approach that does not involve the delivery of any cells.”
This is another in a long string of examples of how porcine cells can help improve human health. We’ve written before on how research swine have been used in everything from treating diabetes to giving the medical world new insight into spinal diseases.
Animal Biotech is proud to be a part of the type of research we’ve described here. In addition to offering live porcine models and porcine cadavers, we’re happy to provide our insights into a variety of issues relating to testing and housing live animals.
We’re also ready to customize different types of post-mortem tissues and tissue blocks or suggest the kinds of tissue that will be right for your research. Contact us today see how we can help you and your team make your next discovery.