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Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system. Disease progression, severity and specific symptoms are unpredictable and vary from one patient to another.
 
 Generally, the process of diagnosing MS involves; obtaining evidence from patient history, clinical examinations, a variety of laboratory tests and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. The traditional treatment for MS has limited effectiveness.
 
 
 The ideal treatment for MS should involve both attenuation of inflammatory responses and induction of tissue protection/regeneration within the Central Nervous System (CNS).
 

Stem cell based therapy is considered promising for the treatment of MS. The major mechanism of action of Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSC) therapy is to inhibit various components of the immune system that contribute to tissue damage. MSCs can access the injured CNS where they can provide protection against tissue damage and may facilitate tissue regeneration.
 

The University of Jordan has supported two clinical trials conducted in the Cell Therapy Center,  investigating the use MSCs in the treatment of MS patients

MS Clinical Trial 1:
Aims: Assessment of the safety and efficacy of injecting autologous bone marrow derived MSCs to MS patients who failed to respond to conventional treatment.
 

Results: The trial was conducted in 3 years. Data analysis of 10 patients showed disease stability and encouraging results with a very good safety record after 12 months follow up. Detailed results were published in the paper entitled: Mesenchymal stem cells and conditioned media in the treatment of multiple sclerosis patients: Clinical, ophthalmological assessmentsof safety and efficacy.
 

Journal: CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics. DOI:10.1111/cns.12759
 
MS Clinical Trial 2:
Aims: Examining the safety and efficacy of  the treatment with allogeneic MSCs and supervised physical therapy PT program on motor and non-motor symptoms in MS patients.
The trial is in  progress and is expected to end by May 2019

 
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Knee osteoarthrosis (KOA) has received and still receiving considerable attention of the CTC research.
We started our working by using actiplate in mild to moderate KOA grade I and II.
 
We proved that  this was safe and effective and we published our first paper.
 

Our second project was phase I study to test the safety of autologous mesenchymal stem cells of bone marrow origin and expanded in vitro. We proved that these are safe in stage II and III of KOA. We also showed that these cells are capable in renovating the damaged knee cartilage as proved by MRI. This work is currently under publication and expected to be published before the end of 2017.
 

Our third project was a phase I safety study with inclusion similar to project 2 except that we used allogeneic Wharton Jelly mesenchymal stem cells expanded in vitro. The primary objective was safety. The project was completed successfully and we are in the process of analyzing the data. It seems this is a safe product with minimal adverse events.
 

Project four. Is a phase I study with similar inclusion to project 2 and 3. The source of mesenchymal cells is allogeneic fat aspirate expanded in vitro. The study is still accruing patients. The primary endpoint is safety. We expect to complete the study early 2018.

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Skin is the largest organ of the human body. Full-thickness skin regeneration should include the combination of epidermis, dermis and connective tissues.

Surgical therapy has been the dominating approach in burn cases all over the world for decades. However, almost all surgeons admit that they adopted surgical skin graft not because it is the best therapy, but is the only choice. Human Skin Stem Cells (keratinocytes) have an enormous proliferation potential which can differentiate and reform a functional skin barrier that can be transplanted into patients suffering from severe burn injuries.


 Objectives


 Generate a unique layer of cells, organized as a sheet on a dermal substitute which will form the full thickness skin.

 Evaluate the efficiency of scaffold to support a three dimensional structure of the generated skin.



 Skin projects conducted in Cell Therapy Center :

 1-Generation of epidermis and skin substitutes. 

We are the1starabcenter which has generated successfully human epidermis in 2012 with a 300000 JD grant  support from the scientific support fund/ ministry of higher education.


      skin sheet.jpg

      2- Treatment of non-healing diabetic foot ulcers.

      We developed a special product that is capable of healing these very difficult ulcers. We conducted a double blind study and the preliminary results are extremely   successful.


    knee ulcer.jpg

​     ​​ 3- Development of a novel dermal substitute:

        This project is currently underway at the CTC.

 

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Bone is a dynamic tissue which undergoes remodeling as it is constantly being resorbed and rebuilt. In case of severe injuries, the fracture repair mechanism of bone can fail which results poor bone healing with lower mechanical function. To overcome these problems, emerging tissue engineering therapies are appropriate substitutes to promote the regenerative ability of host body.

A tissue-engineered bone graft, composed of Mesenchymal stem cells and a suitable biodegradable material (scaffold), would be able to repair critical size bone defects. This research project is still in an experimental phase and not being subjected to clinical trials.

  

Objectives

 

·        To evaluate the osteogenic potential of induced MSCs at different time intervals, in vitro.

 

·        To evaluate the osteogenic potential of induced MSCs in bone healing, in vivo (animal models).

 

·        To evaluate the efficiency of synthetic biodegradable scaffolds, as bone graft substitute.




Results of this project 


The project has produced successfully a porous bone and this has been applied in small and large animals and is about to be used in humans.​

we have started a phase I study on humans to treat bone cysts and non-union bone fracture.

 

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 The eye is a relatively small but very complex organ. The cornea which lies on the front surface of the eye is our window to the world. It provides protection for the eye against different insults.

  The ocular surface is made up of two distinct types of epithelial cells; the conjunctival and the corneal epithelia. The integrity and functionality of the outermost corneal layer the epithelium plays a key role in refraction of light on to the retina at the back of the eye. Like other pithelia the epithelium of the cornea is maintained by a population of stem cells known as limbal stem cells (LSCs).

   Regenerative medicine and tissue engineering techniques have offered a viable alternative to overcome the limitation of corneas for transplantation in chemical and burn injuries and for other indications of corneal transplant. In this project Limbal stem cells (LSCs) harvested from a small limbal biopsy will be cultured and expanded in vitro on different suitable biological scaffolds. The ultimate long term aim  would be  to transplante these cultured tissues to the diseased cornea to successfully restore the corneal surface.



   In order to treat corneal epithelial damage causing blindness, such as burns and other autoimmune diseases, this technology will solve permanently the injury thus restoring sight. The project is supported by the research support fund of the ministry of higher education. The project has started on June, 2013 for a period of 3 years. Total amount of support was JD is 500000.

  This project will be finalized on time and will be the first in the Arab World to generate corneal epithelium from limbal stem cells.


 

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Erectile dysfunction (ED) is caused by various metabolic conditions or mechanical manipulations, e.g. diabetes, hypertension, atherosclerosis, trauma or surgery.
 
Pharmacotherapies for ED of various etiologies are now available. However, treatment options are limited. Since human Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) have the ability to self-renew and differentiate into various cell types, transplantation of MSCs has the potential to regenerate the damaged tissue, thus restoring normal erectile function after injury or degradation.
 
The objective of this study was to assess the safety and efficacy of autologous Bone marrow MSCs transplantation. Results have shown that autologous Bone marrow MSC injections are safe.
 
We are initiating a new project using Wharton Jelly derived MSCs (WJMSCs) which is a phase I project that is designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of expanded  WJMSCs in patients with erectile dysfunction.
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Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a common manifestation of generalized atherosclerosis. Patients with compromised blood flow to the extremities as a consequence of PAD may present with typical ischemia pain, atypical pain, or with no symptoms, and these clinical manifestations of PAD are ameliorated by the development of collateral arteries.
 
 Treatment for PAD is dependent on the severity of the symptoms and typically ranges from conservative pharmaceutical management with risk factor modifications to endovascular or open surgical interventions in more severe cases. Up to one third of patients are not candidates to traditional revascularization and may benefit from regenerative medicine.
 
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of autologous actiplate injections into ischematic limbs of patients with PAD. This project has shown promising results regarding the safety and efficacy of the product.
 
Our second project is a phase I project with similar inclusion criteria to the first project except allogeneic actiplate injections will be used. New patients are being recruited, the goal of this phase is to evaluate the safety and potential efficacy of the product.
 
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