Stem Cells for Personalized Pain Therapy Testing

April 22, 2016

(The Scientist) – Pain can be tough to take, and it’s also difficult to study: rodent models for pain do not necessarily translate to human pain conditions and expression of disease-causing mutations in cell lines may not precisely mimic the physiology of human pain disorders. Now, researchers have developed a new way to test pain—and, potentially, other sensory-targeting medications. Edward Stevens and James Bilsland of the Pfizer’s U.K.-based neuroscience and pain research units and their colleagues have shown that induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) derived from blood samples of patients with a pain disorder can be used to create sensory neurons that recapitulate the disease phenotype.