A Korean research team is the first to succeed in creating Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs), which do not cause cancer, through electromagnetic radiation. This is a breakthrough to advance the development of safe and patient-customized stem cell treatments.
The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning announced on Oct. 6 that a research team led by Professor Kim Jong-pil at the Department of Medical Biotechnology at Dongguk University achieved such outcomes.
Electromagnetic radiation has various effects on living organisms, but this was the first time to identify the phenomenon that certain types of electromagnetic radiation can change the fates of cells.
Based on this fact, the research team succeeded in creating the iPSCs by electromagnetic radiation through ‘cell reprogramming.’ Cell reprogramming is the most promising technology in the field of stem cells to create customized cells for patients by freely transforming the fate of cells.
It is quite inefficient and takes a long time to produce the conventional iPSCs developed so far. In addition, these iPSCs have critical safety issues, as cancer-inducing factors are used to make them.
However, by using electromagnetic radiation, it has become 37 times more efficient to produce iPCSs. Moreover, this method does not use cancer-inducing factors, which means it is safe for the human body.
The research team expected that this electromagnetic radiation stimulus can radically improve the treatment effects of current stem cells and contribute to the development of innovative stem cell treatments, which is entirely different from the present ones.
The results of this research were published online in ACS Nano, an internationally-renowned academic journal in nano-science, on Sept. 23.