Stem cells might be the future of medicine
Stem cells have shown significant potential in the treatment of numerous seemingly untreatable conditions, with companies such as Biolamina being at the forefront of this revolutionary frontier by supplying recombinant laminins, a foundation on which stem cells grow. To find out if they are the future of medicine, it is important to look at their impact in the field of medicine in recent times.
The impact of stem cells in the study of disease
Stem cells are currently playing a vital role in unravelling the secrets of how cells develop to complex organisms from a fertilised egg, by revealing the processes involved in specialisation and cell division. This is because these mechanisms are responsible for the development of medical conditions such as birth defects and cancer usually caused by abnormalities in cellular division. As such a better understanding of molecular controls and genetics will help shine a light on how these types of diseases develop and stem cells hold the key. Their importance is also magnified by difficulty in getting hold of affected cells for closer examination in conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s.
Testing out new medical treatments
Presently, human liver cells are among the most vital components used in the testing of drugs. They are mainly derived from donor or dead tissue and can only survive for a maximum 3 to 5 days. Another drawback is that they cannot multiply. As such, they are expensive to acquire and don’t possess the longevity required for long-term observation. This is where stem cells come in. They can be used to produce a regular supply of liver cells that will in turn be used for research hence increasing efficiency and reducing costs. Another thing is that new drugs sometimes have serious negative side effects. Some, for example affect the heart rate and presently, scientists are looking into ways to use beating heart cells formed by embryonic stem cells to test this effect.
Replacement of damaged cells
Stem cells have already been successfully used in the treatment of burns and the restoration of the blood system in patients suffering from blood disorders such as leukaemia. However, scientists are trying to come up with ways to stimulate stem cells to replace cells destroyed by certain ailments such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and liver failure.
The aforementioned factors seem to reiterate that indeed stem cells have a chance at being the medicine of the future.
Categories: Future of medicine