Animal Studies

Proof of Concept Studies:

SMS cells were tested on different animal models pertinent to degenerative diseases such as:

  • Progressive Lung Degeneration


A chronic, inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs. Emphysema (caused by the destruction of air sacs, and alveoli) and Chronic Bronchitis are the most common conditions that make up COPD. Symptoms include breathing difficulties, cough, mucus, and wheezing. It is caused typically by long-term exposure to breathable irritants. The disease is progressive and currently irreversible. Patients are at increased risk of developing heart disease, lung cancer, and a variety of other conditions.

Model organism:

The model organism used is an elastase enzyme-treated rat. The enzyme damages a significant number of lung air sacs (alveoli) mimicking the case of lung emphysema in patients.


Testing the effect of SMS cells instilled into the lung of this rat resulted in a high percentage of alveoli regeneration using a mere single dose of SMS cells. Different regimens are currently being studied to optimize the healing effect of these cells.

  • Non-healing Wounds

Diabetic ulcers:

Patients with diabetes have a 25% likelihood to develop a foot ulcer. Some of these do not heal using the standard care of medicine, resulting in open wounds that remain as such for very long periods. These wounds are susceptible to microorganismal invasion that could lead, consequently, to amputation of the limb. Patients with prior amputation have a very low life expectancy.

Model organism:

The model organism used is a mouse strain with a strong diabetic phenotype (BKS.Cg- Dock7m +/+ Leprdb//J) that causes significant delays in skin wound healing. Two excision wounds were inflicted; one was treated, and the other was used as a control. The wounds were splinted to prevent healing by skin contraction.


Applying extracellular matrix (proteins) derived from SMS cells on wounds resulted in a large increase (multiple ratios) in granulation, epithelialization, and capillarization of the healing tissue extracted after 14 days.

Animal Safety Studies

SMS cells were tested in different animals and different genders regarding safety. Using large numbers of human SMS cells injected into different regions (organs, tissues) of the animal and by applying various regimens, no adverse effects at tissue, organ, or organismal level were detected.

Stained SMS Cells In Vivo: Visible in red are near-infrared tagged SMS cells that were injected into nude mice. The subcutaneous injection was administered on the right dorsal side of the mouse, above the right hind leg. Whole-body fluorescence and white light images were taken 7 days post-injection. This image shows an overlay of the fluorescent image merged with the white light image.

SMS Cells: Labeled using a near-infrared fluorescent label and subsequently injected into the lung of a mouse. The signal was monitored using the VISQUE™ InVivo Smart-LF instrument, in vivo detection system


COPD References:

Tomislav M. Jelic (February 12th 2019). Emphysema, Update in Respiratory Diseases, Jose Carlos Herrera Garcia, IntechOpen, DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.83273.

Ghorani V, Boskabady MH, Khazdair MR, Kianmeher M. Experimental animal models forCOPD: a methodological review. Tob Induc Dis. 2017;15:25. Published 2017 May 2.doi:10.1186/s12971-017-0130-2

Tanner L, Single A, B: Animal Models Reflecting Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Related Respiratory Disorders: Translating Pre-Clinical Data into Clinical Relevance. J Innate Immun 2020;12:203-225. doi: 10.1159/000502489

Sun Z, Li F, Zhou X, Chung KF, Wang W, Wang J. Stem cell therapies for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: current status of pre-clinical studies and clinical trials. J Thorac Dis 2018;10(2):1084-1098. doi: 10.21037/jtd.2018.01.46

Wound References:

Dunn, L., Prosser, H.C.G., Tan, J.T.M., Vanags, L.Z., Ng, M.K.C., Bursill, C.A. Murine Model of Wound Healing. J. Vis. Exp.(75), e50265, doi:10.3791/50265 (2013).

Garris, B.L., Novikova, L., Lau, Y. et al. Hypophyseal Lipoapoptosis: Diabetes (db/db) Mutation-Associated Cytolipidemia Promotes Pituitary Cellular Disruption and Dysfunction. Pituitary 7, 5–14 (2004).