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Role of Stem Cells: in the body and medicine

Updated on June 14, 2012

Stem cells and the interest in them is raising rapidly with the prospects like future health care in the family. Storing stem cells help the donor and his family in times of urgent need for transplant without need for searching of compatible persons in times of medical emergency.

Stem cell definition: Stem cells are natural totipotent or pluripotent cells which are present in every living organism with an intention to repair and replace damaged tissue. They have the capacity to multiply and differentiate into any type of body cell based on requirement.

Hence scientists got interested to see if these cells can help future organ or tissue transplants and carried further experimentation on them like growing them outside the body, storing them for emergency etc.

Role of stem cells in the body: As mentioned earlier, stem cells are undifferentiated cells in the body. i.e every cell in our body is differentiated into a particular type based on the organ they form like muscle cell, bone cell,nerve cell, sperm etc.But stem cells are alone exceptional top this rule. These cells are present as such in the body and when there is damage or repair of a tissue, they migrate there and get converted to the said tissue or cell. This process if triggered in the body as per the demand.

Role of stem cells in the medicine:

Similarly, the scientist tired to see if these cells can be triggered to replace any organ or tissue like in bone fractures, blood vessel damage etc. for recovery of patient from the damage, they found the results to be positive.

Hence the interest was raised and they went on to isolate stem cells form the body and also checked if they can be produced outside the body.

They were successful in both aspects. They could isolate different types of stem cells from bone marrow, umbilical cord blood, adipose (fat) tissue, dental pulp etc.

Further they were also able to generate them outside the body from fertilized human embryo.

Advantages of stem cells:

They have less compatibility issue like other tissue transplanted form on person to other.

They can be readily available if stored in stem cell banks..

They can extracted without damage to the donor. Unlike other transplants like kidney if donated, the donor suffers from kidney loss.

They can be stored for emergency use.

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