What are stem cells? These undifferentiated cells are help mend the body and heal tissue. Hence, doctors also use stem cells for transplant procedures. Read on to know more about the role of stem cells in modern pharmaceutical industry.
What Are Stem Cells | Facts You Need to Know
What Can Stem Cells Do?
- Develop into different types of cells – This happens when the body’s internal systems are trying to restore damaged cells. When stem cells divide, they either remain as stem cells or are altered into an organ or tissue-specific type such as brain cells, muscle cells, red blood cells and so on.
- Regenerate to replace damaged cells – Stem cells are known for cell division. Additionally, they diverge to relieve and overhaul impaired or destroyed tissues. This process happens more frequently in the bone marrow or in the gut. In other much more sensitive organs, such as the heart and pancreas, stem cells divide in special circumstances. Stem cell therapy is also believed to play a significant role in traumatic brain injuries as their use can lessen the inflammation of the affected tissues.
- Replicate many times for long periods
What Are Stem Cells For?
- Drug testing – With the special properties of stem cells, they can help pharmaceutical industries improve their research and development for efficient and safe medicines.
- Stem cell-based therapies – With their unique and impressive regenerative capabilities, stem cells play a large role in the future of medicine. Moreover, scientists are working on advanced ways to treat diseases such as leukemia, diabetes, and heart problems with stem cell technology. Although specialists need more time for this research, imagine the many lives this breakthrough can save once they figure out the right formulas.
Where Are They Collected From?
- Blood – Through a machine called a “cell separator”
- Umbilical cord – Specialists use a machine to collect and separate stem cells from the cord blood.
- Bone marrow – The bone marrow is one of the best choices to collect stem cells because they are at least 10 times more concentrated in this area than in peripheral blood. Furthermore, doctors perform this extraction procedure in the operating room where they first inject standard anesthesia. They will then use a special needle to draw out the marrow and blood.
- From fat tissue
How Do Researchers Collect Stem Cells?
- Autologous transplant – In this procedure, doctors gather and return stem cells to the same person. In addition, this procedure usually applies to chemotherapy and other underlying diseases.
- Allogeneic transplant – Specialists collect stem cells from another individual. Medical professionals normally gather the stem cells from siblings or unrelated donors.
Learn about stem cells through this video:
Researchers are working their best to learn more about how stem cells can further improve our future medicines and medical operations. This breakthrough technology will have a significant impact on both patients and donors.
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