Stem Cells - Fundamentals
How Does Cell Therapy Work?
Cells perform the required functions of the body and can be maintained and grown also outside (called in vitro) the body.
Certain cells can be isolated from other cells under controlled conditions.
By using isolation and manipulation of cells in vitro, it is possible to identify young regenerating cells that can be used to replace damaged or dead cells in diseased organs.
Transplantation therapy using stem cells is an exciting area as it can be used to replace diseased organs or damaged organs. This therapy if successful can be made to regenerate damaged organs, avoiding the problems of organ transplants such as the need for immuno-suppresionts to avoid rejection.
Stem cells can produce different types of cells and are called progenitor cells. Totipotent cells are called the Master cells as they contain all the genetic information required to produce all the cells of the body. After 3-4 divisions totipotent cells, becomes increasingly specialized.
Pluripotent cells results from the next stage of division, these cells can undergo differentiation to produce any type of cells except the placental cell.
During the next stage of division, the cells become multipotent, in which they can produce several cell types, but the cell types produced are limited.
After the entire process of cell division the embryo is produced, which his terminally differentiated cells, which are permanently committed to that specific function.
During recent research, it is believed that stem cell research is giving important information about the cell and the human body. It is recently discovered that multi-potent stem cells are found in adults also. Research is undergoing to find out the benefits of both adult and embryonic stem cells in medical treatments.