Led by Mick Bhatia, scientists turn blood to nerve cells

Published on May 23, 2015 14:33:33 PM

Team of Canadian scientists who were led by Mick Bhatia have successfully converted adult human blood cells into neural cells. They claim to have figured out a way to turn regular human blood cells into nerve cells, an achievement that could lead to new advances for those suffering chronic pain or nerve diseases.

Indian origin Mick Bhatia, director of the McMaster Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute, explains, "Now we can take blood samples and make the main cell types of neurological systems - the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system - in a dish that is specialised for each patient. Nobody has ever done this with adult blood. Ever".

Bhatia explained about the possible prognostic potential of the process stating that we might be able to predict whether a patient with Type 2 diabetes will experience neuropathy by running tests in the lab using their own neural cells derived from their blood sample.

The authors concluded that this research will assist the scientists in their efforts to provide personalized medical therapy for patients suffering with neuropathic pain.

The research has been  in journal Cell Reports.