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WHAT ARE STEM CELLS AND THEIR USE IN STEM CELL THERAPY? (#biochemistry)(#ipumusings)(#genetics)(#biotechnology)


Author: Preity Yadav

WHAT ARE STEM CELLS AND THEIR USE IN STEM CELL THERAPY? (#biochemistry)(#ipumusings)(#genetics)(#biotechnology)

Stem Cells (SC) are an integral part of tissues, organs and the entire body. 

They have the ability to evolve into many unrelated types of cells in the body, such as muscle cells, blood cells, and brain cells. SC divide to form more cells cited as daughter cells. Daughter cells can form new cells with self-renewal properties, or these daughter cells can become specialised cells with a specific function such as blood cells, heart muscle cells, brain cells or bone cells by undergoing differentiation. They can be regenerated over the life of the body and can repair damaged tissue after injury or illness. The embryo is the origin of all SC. Each of the embryonic stem cells (ESC) can produce a whole complete body.

The unique property of stem cells enables them to provide new cells to the body by dividing over and over again. In addition, it can also cause stem cells to bloom into specialised cells. Researches classified discrete types of stem cells on their capability to differentiate into other types of cells. Characteristics of SC: Self-renewal and differentiation. The ability to burgeon infinitely by simple division is called self-renewal. It is achieved by symmetrical or asymmetrical divisions. It depends on cell-intrinsic or cell-extrinsic factors, such as microenvironmental stimuli. The potential of cells to metamorphose into different cell types is called cell viability.

Differentiation is the process of proving pluripotency in vitro, where the progeny of the SCs is characterised through the expression of particular genes of a cell lineage.

WHAT ARE STEM CELLS AND THEIR USE IN STEM CELL THERAPY? (#biochemistry)(#ipumusings)(#genetics)(#biotechnology)

SCs can be multipotent, omnipotent, pluripotent, oligopotent, and monopotent. 

SC can be extracted from an embryo, adult tissue for instance bone marrow, adipose and blood. Perinatal stem cells involve stem cells in amniotic fluid as well as umbilical cord blood. 

WHAT ARE STEM CELLS AND THEIR USE IN STEM CELL THERAPY? (#biochemistry)(#ipumusings)(#genetics)(#biotechnology)

SC pulled out from the embryo at the blastocyst stage which has around one hundred fifty cells. At this time embryo is only three to five days old. This stage inherits the pluripotent property which enables the SC to divide into more SC and may turn out to become any sort of cell in the body. Adult SC is extracted from the adult body or from children. They are also known as somatic SC and are few in number. Mesenchymal SC can be situated in adult tissue such as in muscles and bone marrow. These are multipotent. Mesenchymal SC can differentiate into many types of cells, e.g., adipocytes, bone cells and chondrocytes from the mesoderm. The fluid that fills the sac and acts as a shield for the developing foetus in the uterus is the amniotic fluid. Scientists have found SC in samples of amniotic fluid withdrawn from pregnant women to detect abnormalities, a process known as amniocentesis.

The use of stem cells to treat or prevent a disease condition is called stem cell therapy. Also known as restorative drugs. It promotes the repair response of dysfunctional and injured tissue repair reactions with SC or its derivatives. It can alleviate the symptoms of mendable diseases or conditions. It helps to heal functional parts of the body that are not working properly. For instance, maladies namely traumatic spinal cord injury, stroke, severe burns, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, retinal disease, Huntington’s disease, Hearing loss, Parkinson’s disease can be cured using embryonic stem cells. In 1981, scientists founded ways to obtain the first embryonic stem cells from a mouse embryo. In 1969, Edward Donnall Thomas executed the first bone marrow transplant using SC collected from another person.

In 2006, researchers identified optimum conditions that allowed some specialised adult cells to be genetically "reprogrammed" to behave like a stem cell- state. These stem cells are induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). In 2004, researchers at King's College London identified a way to make complete teeth in mice with help of stem cells in the laboratory. Scientists have faith that tooth rejuvenation technology can allow humans to grow living teeth. In type 1 diabetes, people lose the role of insulin-producing beta cells inside the pancreas. In the laboratory, scientists have successfully turned embryonic SC into beta cells. If the transplantation of these β cells is successful, the defective β cells can be replaced by functional β cells.

With the help of stem cells, vision can be restored. Corneal SC is transplanted into damaged eyes to recover damaged eyes.

In the laboratory, Human red blood cells can be grown and matured ex vivo by hematopoietic stem cells. Growth factor known as Erythropoietin helps in flattering the stem cells and completing the formation of red blood cells. Corneal ulcers of the dissimilar genesis of several horses can be cured by using Hematopoietic SC.

A spinal injury can be caused due to mechanical damage or by scar formation and inflammation. Mesenchymal stem cells can cure spinal injury damage.


1. Do You Know The 5 Types Of Stem Cells? May 28, 2021, ByCade Hildreth.

2) A Brief History of Stem Cell Therapy and How it Applies Today. By Neuro Gen. October 15, 2019. 

3) Unproven Stem Cell Treatments Offer Hope but Also Severe Risks. by Shawn Radcliffe—Updated on July 12, 2016,

4) Stem Cells. Therapeutic Innovations Under Control. By - Nicole Arrighi 2018, Published by Elsevier. (Buy eBook)

About the Author:

Preity Yadav, a graduate student of the University School of Chemical Technology, GGSIP University, Delhi. She is pursuing her degree in Biochemical engineering. 

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