Good Facts About Health and Medicine

Nov 22
2014

Health and medical research is moving forward at the speed of light, and one of the most promising advances is with stem cells. Although there is still some way to go, and there are a few obstacles to overcome, the future could be bright for people who suffer from: stroke, heart disease, diabetes, burns, rheumatoid and osteo-arthritis, and injuries to the spinal cord.

The Three Main Types of Stem Cells

Stem cells are classified into three major forms: embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells (also known as somatic stem cells), and induced-pluripotent stem cells. It is very exciting to think that in certain body tissues, adult stem cells can be engineered to regenerate the cells that died off through disease, injury, or just plain wear and tear from day-to-day living, work and exercise. Examples include muscle and bone tissue, and we can all imagine just how wonderful it would be for people with bone and joint problems to be treated in this ground breaking minimally invasive way.

Embryonic and Induced-Pluripotent Stem Cells

Embryonic stem cells are obtained from a laboratory which stores fertilised eggs that have previously been removed from a woman’s body. Although the practice is controversial, they are of great interest to researchers as they can be miraculously engineered to generate into any form of specialised cell, thus making them “puripotent”. Genetically engineered stem cells taken from adults which act in the same way as embryonic stem cells, are referred to as: induced-pluripotent stem cells. They normally evolve in to the identical form of cell as the tissue in which they are placed; stem cells found in muscle tissue, for example, normally give rise to new muscle cells. Pluripotent stem cells now play a hugely important part in continuing research and drug experimentation which is rapidly altering the process of drug testing and development. Now, instead of having the safety of drugs verified using animal models, tested can be done using cells derived from pluripotent stem cells.

Regenerative medicine aims to treat different types of disease utilising cell-based therapy; and one of the avenues that leading scientists are researching is how the body’s undifferentiated stem cells (cells that are not aligned to specific body tissues and organs) transform to become differentiated stem cells (stem cells that are specialised to function in a specific tissue and organ such as heart tissue). By finding out more about this complex function, the scientists may be able to uncover more about the differentiation and abnormal cell division that brings about devastating disease such as birth defects and multiple cancers.

BioLamina is a long established highly renowned stem cell research facility that provides cutting edge distinct cell culture environments. These provide the cell culture for adult stem cells, pluripotent stem cells and the cells needed for individual tissue types. The reliability and grade increases with recombinant laminins (laminins are proteins that act as the foundation for cells. Recombinant laminins derived from humans allow cultured cells to connect to specialist unique bio-relevant matrices which imitate the cell growth’s natural environment.