Stem Cells Uses, Importance, & Potential Medical Applications

4 min read

Stem cells are those primary cells that develop when an egg turns into an embryo. It is these stem cells that develop, rejuvenate, and multiply themselves to form different types of specialized cells of our body. So the specialized cells like the blood cells, skin cells, liver cells, retina cells, or hair cells all are derived from the stem cells to perform their respective duties.

stem cell therapy

But, these specialized cells cannot renew or make copies of them through cell division, once damaged due to an injury, disease, or aging. And here come the main uses of stem cells as they can recreate themselves as well as the specialized cells constantly or whenever needed.

So, in a way, stem cells are our body’s natural reservoirs that supply and stock specialized cells to function our body properly. You can understand the duty and importance of stem cells by knowing the fact that they produce 1000,000 million new blood cells each day for your body.

Thus, the future of medical science relies upon researching what can stem cells do and to what extent they can cure or reestablish any tissue or organ.

The constant research on stem cells and their application result in the cell-based treatment in some medical conditions like hematopoietic stem cell transplant in people suffering from leukemia or epithelial stem cell transplants in the cases of burns or corneal disorders.

Stem cells are generally collected in the lab from the embryo before implanting it on the uterus. It is also found in the umbilical cord blood and our bone marrow. So the stem cells of a healthy person’s bone marrow can become curative for an ill person’s body.

Application of Stem Cells:

So what are stem cells used for or why should we research them? The main motive behind stem cell research is to cure the damaged tissues and cells that cannot heal by themselves. And with its improvement, many patients with chronic diseases are finding hope to live again. Stem cell therapy can go simply from cell transplanting or directing them to develop into healthy, new tissue, up to coaxing the stem cells existing already in the body to work more and produce more new tissues. Here are the stem cell benefits and possible medical treatment through the stem cells.

Possible Medical Treatments by Stem Cell:

  • The study and application of stem cells are important because they can help us understand how complex organisms develop from a fertilized egg. Birth defects and cancer are caused due to abnormal division of the cells. By studying the stem cells in the laboratory and witnessing their growth, one can understand genetics, molecular controls, and comprehend how such diseases occur.
  • BMT or Bone Marrow Transplantation is a tested and successful medical use of stem cells. Through the process of BMT, one can restore different blood cell types and repopulate the bone marrow after a high dose of radiotherapy or chemotherapy. This will work as our body’s natural defense to eliminate the cancer cells.

doctors doing Bone Marrow Transplantation operation

  • Soon the diseases like cancer, Parkinson’s disease, type 1 diabetes, Mellitus, Huntington’s disease, cardiac failure, celiac disease, neurological disorders, muscle damage, etc will be treated positively by applications of embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells. The first research of implanting fetal cells for Parkinson’s disease has resulted in the survival of the dopamine-producing stem cells and the release of dopamine and an improvement in the patient’s clinical conditions. Researchers are now trying to eradicate the side effects and make stem cells more useful.

tremor of human hand holding a glass of water Parkinsons disease

  • Diabetes is a very common disease caused due to the abnormal metabolism of the insulin hormone. A cellular structure in the pancreas named Isles of Langerhans produces this insulin. Thus by implanting stem cells that can create copies of pancreatic islets can help produce the necessary insulin to control diabetes. Recently, research on insulin-producing cells from a mouse’s stem cells has been done, which successfully creates cell structures that resemble pancreatic islets. With its successful transplantation in the human body, people can get relief from taking constant insulin injections in the near future.

women injecting diabetes insulin in stomach

  • The application of stem cells can go to the extent of producing a large number of specialized cells to experiment with new medications without using a living body. This will reduce the almost cruel act of animal testing. For example, the potential anti-tumor drugs are now being tested on cancer cell lines.

So stem cells are necessary throughout our lifetime and have a lot to offer to medical science. But instead of knowing what stem cells do or what stem cells are used for, a few religious groups, anti-abortion groups, and some conservative people are protesting against it because using cells from an embryo is immoral as it destroys life. However, the majority can understand why stem cells are important for us, and thus the stem cell research gets passed by a 2-1 margin and can be backed even by the federal government despite all the controversies.

Read Also

List of Diseases that can be Cured & Treated by Stem Cells

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