WHAT IS STEM CELL THERAPY?
Growing up watching the wolverine, haven’t you ever wondered about such an intense healing power? How awesome it would have been if you could actually regrow your cells, tissues and organs only to feel lively and regenerated again?
That is exactly what the stem cell therapy is all about!
What Are Stem Cells?
In the world of Biology, there are two classes of cells- differentiated and undifferentiated. Your stem cells are basically those undifferentiated cells that possess the extraordinary ability to differentiate (divide) themselves into a specialized types of cells that perform a specific task in your body. For example- stem cells, when provided with optimum conditions can transform into the cells of your cornea, or the cells of your skin.
What are the sources of Stem Cell?
There are two main sources of stem cells:
- Prior to the implantation of the embryo in the mother’s uterus, it undergoes a developmental phase which is termed as Blastocyst phase. The embryos formed in this phase become the Embryonic Stem Cell.
- The undifferentiated cells are found throughout the body after development and undergo multiple cell division to repair/ regenerate damaged tissues or the dying cells. These undifferentiated cells are called the Adult Stem Cells.
Both these sources have been characterised on the basis of their potential or ability to differentiate into various cell types( bones, skin, muscle, etc) as we mentioned above.
Now that your basics on stem cells are clear, let us look at the fun part.
How does Stem Cell Therapy Work?
Popularly, stem cell therapy is held as the upcoming regenerative medicine that attempts to boost teh reparative response of injured, dysfunctional and diseased tissue with the help of their stem cell derivatives. Lab grown stem cells are manipulated to differentiate into specific cells, such as skin, heart muscle, blood or nerve cells. These are then implanted into the patient.
For instance, a patient suffering from a hear disease is injected with heart specific healthy stem cells into his heart muscles which immediately start repairing the damage and resulting in the perfect health.
Although stem cell therapy is still in its infancy, further research is taking place in this direction to improve the workflow of this field of medicine. Maybe in a few decades or so, we all are able to heal ourselves like wolverine.
Seems too far fetched? Maybe not!
About the Author: An Engineer turned writer, Kartikeya Awasthi is a talented and passionate writer. Clubbed with a highly research centric brain, he likes to paint when not writing!