WINSTON-Wake Forest University researchers have turned stem cells from human skin into fat, muscle and bone cells.

The development is one of the first to show how adult stem calls can be coaxed into producing multiple types of tissue, the WFU School of Medicine says.

“These cells should provide a valuable resource for tissue repair and for organs as well,” said Anthony Atala, director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine and senior researcher on the project. He is an MD.

“Because these cells are taken from a patient’s own skin, there would not be problems with organ or tissue rejection,” he added.

The advance was reported last week in Stem Cells and Development.

The stem cells were gathered from 15 donors who had undergone circumcisions.

Using hormones and other growth factors, the researchers were able to “coax” the stem cells into becoming gat, muscle and bone cells, the University said. The scientists want to test the function of these cells as a next step.

WFU Medical School: