Stem Cell Research
Stem cells play an important role in regenerative medicine. This is due to their critical role in the treatment of many complex diseases and injuries. This matter of stem cell research offers both so much promise, and so much controversy.
Stem cells are special cells in our bodies, which can change into different types of cells, like muscle cells, organ cells, as well as brain cells. There are two types of these cells, the embryonic stem cells, and adult stem cells. The embryonic stem cells come from unused human embryos, and are mostly used for research. Such embryos are gotten by the in vitro fertilization process. You shall see them change into many different types of cells. Adult stem cells cannot change as much as the embryonic ones, as they have only two options. They come from fully developed tissue, like in bone marrow, skin and brain.
Since stem cells can become other cells, stem cell therapy focuses on using these cells to replace dysfunctional or damaged cells in tissues and organs. Here are cases that show what potential stem cell therapy holds.
Damaged corneas have been repaired in this process before. Stem cells shall be harvested from the limbus, that area of the eye between the iris and sclera. They shall then undergo multiplication in the lab. Once they hit a desirable number, they will be put back into the damaged eye, thus giving you your sight back.
Skin replacement after a life-threatening burn is now possible. Skin stem cells will be harvested and used to make new sheets of skin which will go to cover the areas damaged by the burns. Research is being done to see how the new skin can be developed to have hair, sweat glands, and oil glands.
Stem cells also come in handy where there is a need to get rid of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. When the brain cells or neurons of the dopamine-producing region of the brain degenerate, patients suffer tremors, slow movement, rigidity of the limbs, balance and gait issues, alterations in their speech and writing. When stem-cell regeneration happens, you will get new dopamine-inducing neurons to cover up the damaged ones.
Chemotherapy is used to treat cancer, but it leaves in its wake the destruction of your stem cells. Once you finish your regimen, you need to have those cells reintroduced into your system. They will go to the bone marrow, to grow and develop into healthy blood cells.
There are more places stem cell therapy is needed, such as in handling the damage heart diseases come with. These examples point out the need to support stem cell research. You may learn more about the matter on this site.