Tufts University has reported a breakthrough that is likely to lead to a cure for those who have a diminished, or even lost sense of smell.
The key was developing a method to mass produce the horizontal basal cells ( which further differentiate into multiple types of cells that make up the olfactory epithelium), and then activating them. Not only that, but the team also confirmed that these cells actually worked in an animal model. Exciting news!
From Tufts’ report:
“A team of researchers at Tufts University School of Medicine developed a method to grow and maintain olfactory stem cells in culture, which can then be used to restore tissue in the nose. The discovery raises hope that future therapies could be developed to restore the sense of smell in individuals where it has been damaged by injury or degeneration.”
“Once we determined that we could grow HBCs in the lab, and that they expressed the same identifying molecular markers found in vivo, we sought to confirm whether they would work as well as the in vivo HBCs – can they regenerate tissue that has been injured – and they did!” said James Schwob, M.D., Ph.D., professor of developmental molecular and chemical biology at Tufts University School of Medicine
Interested in knowing more? here is the source: https://now.tufts.edu/news-releases/cultured-stem-cells-reconstruct-sensory-nerve-and-tissue-structure-nose