Harnessing stem cell potential for regenerative medicine and cell-based therapy

Harnessing stem cell potential for regenerative medicine and cell-based therapy

Abstract

Stem cells have an interesting history, hugely replete with varied discourse, debate and controversy. Researchers, in mid 1800s, discovered that cells were basically the building blocks of life, and that some cells had the ability to produce other cells. Later on, owing to several years of relentless thinking and efforts, mammalian eggs could be fertilised outside of the human body. In the early 1900s, cells with remarkable ability to generate blood cells were identified. After a gap of 8-9 decades, researchers discovered blood producing stem cells, called as hematopoietic stem cells, followed by another resident of bone marrow stem cells, named as mesenchymal stem cells. Furthermore, during the first decade of 21st century, scientists successfully programmed differentiated somatic cells into stem cell-like cell that was called as induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). The greatest advantages of the iPSCs, apart from being a potential prospective candidate for cell therapy, is the lack of any ethical concerns like other category of stem cells, such as embryonic stem cells (ESCs). Besides, stem cells are also being used to generate multiple functional organs in vitro to study, and explicitly decipher the structural organisation and concerted working of these vital organs in the human body, which will further help in deepening the insight, understanding and designing new therapeutic strategy to ameliorate and cure the multiple diseases. Recent findings have proved that the stem cells may offer shining rays of hope, and be explored for treatment of deadly degenerative and incurable diseases in years to come.

Abstract

Stem cells have an interesting history, hugely replete with varied discourse, debate and controversy. Researchers, in mid 1800s, discovered that cells were basically the building blocks of life, and that some cells had the ability to produce other cells. Later on, owing to several years of relentless thinking and efforts, mammalian eggs could be fertilised outside of the human body. In the early 1900s, cells with remarkable ability to generate blood cells were identified. After a gap of 8-9 decades, researchers discovered blood producing stem cells, called as hematopoietic stem cells, followed by another resident of bone marrow stem cells, named as mesenchymal stem cells. Furthermore, during the first decade of 21st century, scientists successfully programmed differentiated somatic cells into stem cell-like cell that was called as induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). The greatest advantages of the iPSCs, apart from being a potential prospective candidate for cell therapy, is the lack of any ethical concerns like other category of stem cells, such as embryonic stem cells (ESCs). Besides, stem cells are also being used to generate multiple functional organs in vitro to study, and explicitly decipher the structural organisation and concerted working of these vital organs in the human body, which will further help in deepening the insight, understanding and designing new therapeutic strategy to ameliorate and cure the multiple diseases. Recent findings have proved that the stem cells may offer shining rays of hope, and be explored for treatment of deadly degenerative and incurable diseases in years to come.

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