What are Stem Cells?
Cells are the basic unit of living organisms. They’re unicellular and multi-cellular organisms. Human is the best example of a complex organism. It is made-up of millions of individual cells. In fact, one cubic centimeter of human blood contains an average of 4 million individual cells. If we look closely, a human body contains different cells. A closer look even would tell that not all cells in the body are the same. The structure of a skin cell is different from that of our internal organs.
It is quite overwhelming to know that all of these cells came from a fertilized egg cell. And the process of growing this single cell into specialized cells is called differentiation. During this process, each cell is being intricately reproduced to become other parts of the body. Each of these parts is designed to have a certain role. This process is a complicated one but each cell is developed in such a way that it becomes something with a specific function. Therefore these cells were usually found during the period which we were still being conceived.
Surprisingly though, a human body contains a cell which is called a stem cell. It is a cell which does not have a definite role yet. It can regenerate itself and is capable of self-renewing. This cell remains quiescent until activated. This kind of cell is found usually among different cells of an organ. Research shows that these types of cells are usually found in the bone marrow, brain, blood and blood vessels, skin and liver.
There are studies that explain that if these cells are set into motion, they can be enabled to produce a variety of cell types of the organ from which it was harvested. It can even be made to redevelop an entire new organ. Originally, stem cells were thought that it can only reproduce the cells from which it came, but certain evidences point that these cells can, in fact, be derived to become another cell type.
These studies and research imply the high potential of stem cells to repair damaged tissues. Therefore, organs affected by illness or any malady will have a chance at redeveloping by stem cell transplant. This kind of therapy will help increase the tissue’s operational functions which could result to a considerable amount of improvement in a person’s medical condition.
In this therapy, the stem cell of a person is gathered. Once it is stimulated, it will be replaced back to the patient’s body. Since the cells came originally from the same person, there is no incident of infectivity and gives no damage to the natural cells. It is highly probable that a rejection may occur if the stem cell donor came from a different person that is why stem cells are preferably taken from the patient and will be transplanted back to the same patient; this is called autologous.
Many patients have improved in these therapies even when other ways of remedy failed to work. Patients who are simply interested in keeping their body in full function and to be in their most favorable condition use stem cell therapy.