Orthopaedic injuries and conditions affect millions of patients every day around the world. When patients have exhausted conservative measures to treat these conditions, surgery is usually the next step. But what if there was a treatment that could help your body heal itself, allowing you to delay or even avoid surgery? Mesenchymal stem cells are specific cells that engage with our musculoskeletal system. Found throughout the body, these stem cells aid in the healing process by turning into specialized cells that repair degenerated or injured structures. Unlike using embryonic stem cells, mesenchymal stem cells are found throughout our adult bodies, eliminating the ethical and moral concerns over their use.
Adult stem cells are undifferentiated cells found throughout the body that divide to replenish dying cells and regenerate damaged tissues. Research into adult stem cells has been fueled by their abilities to divide or self-renew indefinitely and generate all the cell types of the organ from which they originate — potentially regenerating the entire organ from a few cells. Unlike embryonic stem cells, the use of adult stem cells in research and therapy is not controversial because the production of adult stem cells does not require the destruction of an embryo. The rigorous definition of a stem cell requires that it possesses two properties: Self-renewal - the ability to go through numerous cycles of cell division while maintaining the undifferentiated state. Multipotency or multidifferentiative potential - the ability to generate progeny of several distinct cell types, for example both glial cells and neurons, opposed to unipotency - restriction to a single-cell type.
Stem cells and derived products offer great promise for new medical treatments. Learn about stem cell types, current and possible uses, ethical issues, and the state of research and practice. You've heard about stem cells in the news, and perhaps you've wondered if they might help you or a loved one with a serious disease. You may wonder what stem cells are, how they're being used to treat disease and injury, and why they're the subject of such vigorous debate.
Researchers hope stem cells will one day be effective in the treatment of many medical conditions and diseases. Stem cells have been called everything from cure-alls to miracle treatments. Some unscrupulous providers offer stem cell products that are both unapproved and unproven.