Institute for Regenerative Medicine & Stem Cell Therapy

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Foundation for Health

volume 1 No. 3

About Stem Cells Research

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Adult stem cells are present in most organs and tissues such as brain, bone marrow, blood vessels, skin, teeth, and heart.

 

These stem cells are in the tissues that they are going to become, an area called the “stem cell niche.” This niche provides an environment that allows them to reside next to their tissue type.

 

Research has shown that adult stem cells live in the small blood vessels, and they could be taken from a patient to repair diseased or damaged tissue. When tissues are damaged by injury or disease, they are activated to become the cells that need to be replaced.

 

Adult stem cells may provide more in terms of therapeutic treatments as compared to embryonic stem cells. Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent, having the ability to become any type of cell in the body.

 

While adult stem cells are undifferentiated, they are limited to becoming the specialized cell types of the organ from which they are obtained.

 

One exciting area of adult stem cell research is the regeneration and transplantation of tissues. A patient’s stem cells could be obtained, grown in culture with growth factors that turn on genes that tell them to become a certain cell type.

 

They would then be put back into the patient to replace the damaged or diseased tissue. Because the cells came from the patient, there is a significantly decreased risk of rejection. This could decrease or eliminate the use of powerful immunosuppressant drugs that have serious side effects.

 

Some treatments currently being pursued using adult stem cells are trying to create osteocytes to regenerate bone, cells that produce insulin for people with type 1 diabetes, and cardiomyocytes to replace heart muscles that have been damaged from a heart attack.

 

 

 

 

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