They are cells of human origin that have the abilities to self-renew indefinitely and give rise to several types of differentiated cells. They can be obtained from embryos (embryonic stem cells), from foetal tissues like umbilical cord blood (fetal stem cells) and from adult tissues (adult stem cells).
Why do they generate so much interest in the scientific community?
Because they have the potential to treat diseases in which there is cell deterioration or cell death, such diabetes type I, cardiac failure, or degenerative diseases like Parkinson’s.
What is the process of embryo thawing?
The embryo is incubated with special media so that it will regain its viability. About 70-80% of frozen embryos survive the thawing process.
What guarantees does the donor have that the donated embryo is only used for the specified Project?
The donors must fill in a form in which they specify that they want to donate their embryos for a specific Project. This form remains with the Administration, which on the other hand has granted permission to carry out the proposed project.
Does the BLCB work in collaboration with any medical Center?
The collaboration with centres for Assisted Reproduction is indispensable for establishing cell lines from embryos donated by couples that underwent in Vitro fertilization.
On the other hand, collaborations with medical centres are necessaries to investigate the possibility of clinical treatments.
In which research lines will you specialize?
Our lines of research focus mainly on basic developmental biology, the derivation of embryonic stem cell lines in chemically defined conditions, and the guided differentiation of these cells towards cardiomyocytes, condrocytes and neural progenitors cells.
Does the BLCB work with adult stem cells?
The BLCB focuses on embryonic stem cell research, but we do not reject the possibility of working on projects that include adult stem cells.
Does the BLCB work on nuclear transfer?
This is a technique that only been very recently allowed in the new law on Biomedicine. We are now beginning to explore and implement the logistics of oocyte donor recruitment.
Which are the advantages of using embryonic stem cells versus adult ones?
Adult stem cells are much harder to obtain, purify, grow and amplify in vitro. Furthermore, embryonic stem cells have shown greater plasticity and the ability to differentiate into different cell types.
What is the situation of stem cell research in Cataluña with respect to the rest of Spain, the European Union, the United Status and the rest of the World?
The creation of the CMRB, part of a consortium which is at the forefront of biomedical investigation, which will comprise a critical mass of experienced investigators from abroad, places Cataluña in an advantageous position for stem cell research.
Our mission is to carry out research into the field of stem cells , regeneration and embryonic development.