by: Dr. Andrew J. Rochman
Scientists are conducting extensive research in the field of regenerative medicine to boost immunity and treat diseases with the help of stem cells taken from the patient’s own body. As many of our organs have the power to regenerate themselves, such as liver and skin, it is hoped that soon the growing field of stem cell regeneration will allow for the treatment and rebuilding of muscle mass, damaged tissues, and even failing organs.
Stem cells are biological cells within the human body that can be converted into a variety of different cell types to help with the healing and regeneration of other organs and body parts.
The most common stem cells used by regenerative medicine are the embryonic and adult stem cells, both of which have differing properties and uses. (Stemcells.nih.gov, 2014)
How Are Stem Cells Used?
Stem cells taken from a patient’s body are used for the generation of organs and tissues, which can then be transplanted within the body. Complete organs and minor illnesses have successfully been treated with the help of this innovative research field. The cured conditions include blindness, minor brain damage, burns, broken bones, and others. (Cirm.ca.gov, 2014) Thus, the process is relatively simple. The stem cells are extracted from your body, cultured externally in controlled environments, and then returned to your body to initiate the healing process or replace the damaged organ.
Current Research in Stem Cells
Today, stem cell research is being conducted all over the globe with positive results. However, although simple therapies for minor tissue regeneration have been successful, complex cures will require time and effort of some of the leading researchers in this field in order to show the best outcomes. (Cirm.ca.gov, 2014). After performing stem cell research on animals, humans are now being tested for similar results. A few therapies that have shown amazingly positive outcomes include:
Rejuvenation of the Body
With age, the body loses its ability to maintain itself. Thus, health issues arise and immune systems weaken. All this occurs due to the increased dormancy of stem cells in the body, which ultimately causes tissues and organ failure.
Although this is all part of a natural process, researchers are performing various experiments to bring back our youth. They believe that by fusing old and aged stem cells with young ones, the body’s fitness can be returned with the help of tissue regeneration therapies.
Stem cell regeneration has shown positive results where simple organ regeneration is concerned, and it is to be hoped that future research will also make it possible to regenerate aged stem cells and complex organs for a longer and healthier human existence. (Fight Aging! 2014)
Cirm.ca.gov, (2014). Disease Information | California's Stem Cell Agency. [online] Available at: http://www.cirm.ca.gov/our-progress/disease-information [Accessed 14 May. 2014].
Cirm.ca.gov, (2014). Stem Cells as Therapies | California's Stem Cell Agency. [online] Available at: http://www.cirm.ca.gov/our-progress/stem-cells-therapies [Accessed 14 May. 2014].
Fight Aging!, (2014). Stem Cells, Regenerative Medicine, and Tissue Engineering. [online] Available at: https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2003/11/stem-cells-regenerative-medicine-and-tissue-engineering.php [Accessed 14 May. 2014].
Stemcells.nih.gov, (2014). Stem Cell Basics: Introduction [Stem Cell Information]. [online] Available at: http://stemcells.nih.gov/info/basics/pages/basics1.aspx [Accessed 14 May. 2014].