Stem cells fixed on to tiny scaffolds could help repair the damage in the brains of patients who have suffered a stroke, found UK researchers. However, the technique is yet to be tested on human body, sources said. The research is believed to help patients of the disease and is one of the most talked about topics at the conference in Edinburgh, this week. It is a common cause of death in Scotland as nearly 14,000 people suffer from the disease there. The researchers, from the Institute of Psychiatry in London and Nottingham University, are using neural stem cells derived from aborted rodent fetus to tackle stroke and related damages. These cells are combined with microscopic organic compounds which act as scaffolding to fill in the gaps in the brain caused by stroke.

Dr Modo, one of the researchers, said eventually they would like to develop the technique for use in human stroke victims. He further said that he is hopeful about the study and is looking for its successful implementation. Besides this, heart cells, developed from embryonic stem cells, could help repair the damage caused by a heart attack, also,researchers said yesterday.

Last week, the researchers inserted the stem cell scaffolding into the brains of rats. They expect the successful results in the next four to five months. The invention is said to have involved ethical factors causing major setback to the study. Researchers, however, denied such allegations later.