What Are Stem Cells?

stem cellsStem cells are essentially “blank slate” cells that possess the remarkable potential to differentiate to any one of the billions of cells that form the diverse tissues of the human body. Stem cells have the power to divide virtually without limits and convert or develop into specialized cells that can replace injured or damaged tissue. Additionally, stem cells are known to secrete cytokines (small secreted proteins released by cells) that have immunomodulatory effects that have been demonstrated to exert a therapeutic effect.  Stem cells have been shown to migrate to sites of injury and inflammation where they are believed to support the survival of damaged cell and inhibit the immune responses.

Tissue-specific stem cells (“adult” or “somatic” stem cells), are already specialized and can produce different cell types for the specific tissue or organ in which they reside.

Stem cell research is the most exciting option in the field of regenerative medicine being tested for efficacy in treating a variety of health issues where the body’s own response to traditional treatment isn’t sufficient to restore health and optimum function.

Stem cell application in clinical trials shows promising results in therapy of neurological, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Stem cell therapies and regenerative medicine are becoming the preferred substitutes for many surgical, pharmacological, and rehabilitative medical services.