Stem-cell therapy is an intervention strategy that introduces new adult stem cells into damaged tissue in order to treat disease or injury. The ability of stem cells to self-renew and give rise to subsequent generations with variable degrees of differentiation capacities, offers significant potential for generation of tissues that can potentially replace diseased and damaged areas in the body, with minimal risk of rejection and side effects.
Nature of Stem Cells
- Stem Cells have the potential to treat a number of ailments, mainly due to their extremely flexible nature.
- They can divide and renew themselves easily to form the desired tissue or cell.
- They have the potential to migrate to the damaged or injured area of infection, initiate engraftment with the required tissues and restore the impaired organ.
- This Stem Cell working fundamentals or function are vital for the repair and restoration of the injured part of the body.
- They can divide and renew themselves at will and can thus replicate and proliferate to form the desired tissue.
- They are generally unspecialized but can give rise to specialized cells when subjected to the ambient conditions viz. suitable internal or external environment to which they are subjected.
- Plasticity function i.e. ability of stem cells from one tissue to generate into cell types of completely different tissues.
- Homing function i.e. the ability of the stem cells to be attracted to site of injury.
- Engraftment function i.e. the ability to unite with the new tissue; so the regenerating tissue seamlessly amalgamates with the parent tissue.
Benefits of stem cell
- Stem cells are non-toxic and devoid of side effects compared to its toxic drug
- The use of stem cells for therapeutic purposes can ensure lower treatment costs and
promote longer lives
Stem cell therapy has actually been used for decades – in the form of bone marrow transplantation. Stem cells in the transplanted bone marrow produce a permanent supply of new blood cells for the recipient.
Stem cells have great potential for treatment of autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus, where the body’s defences turn on its own cells. One promising approach is to eliminate a patient’s immune cells, ridding the body of self-reactive cells, and to replace them with hematopoietic stem cells grown in culture.