Chennai: Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University today said it has achieved a breakthrough in autologous stem cell-based therapy for animals by fixing a spinal cord injury in a nine-month old dog and announced plans to set up an umbilical cord cell bank for animals to take up further research.
"For the first time in the country, after usage of autologous (patient derived) stem cell therapy for management of a spinal cord injury in a dog, we plan to set up umbilical cord cell bank for animals, especially for dogs and horses", TANUVAS Vice Chancellor Dr P Thangaraju told reporters here.
The bank would help treat animals through stem cell procedure for various diseases and injuries, he said . The bank would have a high-tech laboratory for conducting various tests in that area, he said.
Dr Justin Williams and Dr S Ayyappan, two professors of the University, performed the surgery on the dog recently.
The dog was brought to the veternary college here with a spinal cord injury after a road accident. Stem cells were taken from the injured dog and harvested outside its body in a stem cell bank. The harvested cells were then grafted back to the injured area. After surgery, the dog gained mobility.
"We are going to submit a big project on stem cell research to the Department of Bio-technology this month in New Delhi. The expert committee of this department will go through the papers and soon give us permission to do research," the Vice-Chancellor said.
He also said TANUVAS would organise a two-day international seminar on 'Frontiers of Stem Cell and Bio-technology in Human and Veterinary Medicine' from July 15 for the benefit of undergraduate and post graduate students of veterinary, human medicine, dental, biotechnology and life sciences.
"More than 300 students from across the country and abroad are expected to participate in the event during which more than 30 research papers on stem cell would be submitted," he said.