What are the applications of stem cells?
Posted November 6, 2023
Tissue regeneration is one significant use of these cells. Stem cells are the only cells in the body that are capable of producing different cell types such as blood, muscle, and bone cells. These cells are then able to differentiate into specialized cells which assist in the regeneration and repair of damaged tissues or tissues affected by disease. Adult stem cells multiply by cell division to regenerate damaged tissues. For example, doctors have utilized stem cells from underneath the skin’s surface to make new skin tissue. They are then able to treat severe burns by grafting the tissue onto the damaged skin so new skin will regenerate. Stem cells have also been involved in potentially treating cardiovascular disease, as researchers at Mass General Hospital had produced blood vessels in lab mice using human stem cells. They observed that after 2 weeks of injecting the stem cells, new blood vessels formed which were as high-quality as the natural ones. Another application of stem cells is the potential for them to replace cells and tissues to treat NDD’s including Alzhemiers and Parkinson’s. In Parkinson’s for example, researchers may be able to use stem cells to replenish damaged tissue. This would flood the brain with specialized cells which would inhibit the uncontrolled muscle movements associated with the disease. It is important to note that these are only potential treatments, and stem cells have not yet been able to cure any of these diseases.