Stem cells are the undifferentiated cells of the human body that later develop into specialised cells depending on the tissue they build up. These stem cells are also capable of producing more of their own variety.
Stem cells with their differentiating and regenerative properties have proven to be very effective in medical therapy. Research continues to evolve and efforts are on to use their unique properties in treating major diseases, such as cancer, birth abnormalities and diabetes, with major breakthroughs coming out.
Adult stem cells can be taken from the bone marrow, adipose tissue, or from one’s blood itself. Embryonic stem cells can be extracted from the umbilical cord. Autologous stem cells are those that are extracted from one’s own body. They can be ‘banked’ or saved to be used for later therapy, if required.
In Vitro Culture
Stem cells can be cultured in vitro in controlled environments. These cultures are then used in research for studying them and their processes in detail. These studies provide more insight into how their properties and behaviour can be used and adapted to a medical treatment.
Stem cells, however, do not function in isolation and are surrounded by extracellular proteins. One such protein is laminin, which is the most abundant and now known for its revolutionary application in cell biology. BioLamina offers cell culture matrices that provide original laminins, making cell culture research easier.
Stem Cell Research for Diseases (Cancer)
It is now known that diseases, such as cancer and birth deformities, are a result of abnormal cell division and differentiation. Detailed studies of these processes have provided insight into the origin of such diseases. Further research can provide ways to develop new strategies for combating such abnormalities and stalling their progress.
Stem Cells for Testing New Drugs
The effect of new drugs can be tested on stem cell cultures for studying their safety and potential outcome. Though the available knowledge on some special types of cells is limited, there is scope for ample stem cell research in these areas.
Cell-Based Therapy Research
One of the major problems tackled by medical doctors is treating ailing and degenerating vital organs, such as liver and tissues. These require transplants of organs from other donors. In this case, the demand largely outweighs supply, apart from being very risky. Stem cells can be directed to differentiate into specific types of cells to regenerate the damaged tissue.
Stem cell research promises a lot for the future, and the day would not be too far when stem cell treatment becomes a standard procedure in medicine.