Umbilical cord bank for animals proposed
The plan is currently in the proposal stage, work will begin the moment the plan is approved -- Dr B Justin William
IN a pioneering effort in the field of stem cell therapy for animals, doctors at the Madras Veterinary College have put forth a proposal to the Government of India to set up an umbilical cord bank exclusively for animals in the city.
“Till now there was one such bank and it was for human beings. There were no facilities for animals. The creation of this bank will mean that animals will be able to heal faster. Spine and nerve related injuries can be treated faster especially for dogs and horses,” said Dr B Justin William of the department of veterinary surgery and radiology, Madras Veterinary College.
“The plan is currently in the proposal stage, work will begin the moment the plan is approved,” he said. The college will present a project proposal for a grant of Rs 24 crores to the Department of Biotechnology, Govt of India.
The plan came up after a nine-month-old boxer dog Rambo got a spinal cord injury after an accident. The dog was treated with its own adult stem cells harvested and grafted on the injured site by a team of doctors from the Madras Veterinary College Teaching Hospital.
The stem cell processing was done in the Nichi-In Centre for Regenerative Medicine,Chennai
This was the first time autologous stem cell therapy was used to help a dog recover from a spinal cord injury.
Dr P Thangaraju, TANUVAS vice-chancellor, pointed out that earlier a similar procedure had been tried out but the animal did not survive.
He said, “very soon there will be research done even on bird injuries. People should know that now all regenerative diseases for animals are treatable if an umbilical cord bank is opened. Nerve-related problems take a long time to heal but with the stem cell therapy, it can be faster,” he said.
The Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University will hold an international seminar on the frontiers in stem cell research and biotechnology in the college on July 15 and 16.