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
"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
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
"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