Stem cells are immature cells that have the potential to self-renewal and to develop into specialized different cell types. There are many different types of stem cells depending on their source: embryonic stem cells, fetal stem cells, umbilical cord stem cells, mesenchymal stem cells (or adult/postnatal stem cells).
Embryonic stem cells can be derived from the blastocyst stage of an embryo (5th day of fertilization). These cells have the ability to regenerate spontaneously into all of the adult organism’s cell types. Despite this feature, embryonic stem cells have two disadvantages. The first one is that they can develop into cancer cells, the second one is that researches have not saparated out the safe line of embryonic cells that could be valid for clinical use.
Fetal stem cells are obtained from tissues of an aborted fetuses on the 9-12 week of pregnancy. In addition to the ethical and legal aspects,, the use of untested abortion material can cause health problems such as transmission /infection of herpes, viral hepatitis, syphilis and even AIDS. Unfortunately, such examples are increasingly encountered in metropolitan clinics where fetal cells are widely used in beauty salons.
Unfortunately, it is impossible for people who are reading this article to collect their umbilical cord stem cells. You only have one chance to collect and store your baby’s newborn stem cells – immediately after birth.
Different procedures for umbilical cord blood collection show lower or higher risk of bacterial contamination, but the fact is that 3-5% of collected samples get contaminated before storage.
(adult stem cells)
Researchers have discovered the potential of mesenchymal stem cells – they possess antiproliferative, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects.
Mesenchymal stem cells take part in regenerative processes, thus they slow down aging process.
Unfortunately, the number of MSCs decreases with age. For every 10 thousand hematopoietic cells there is only 1 stem cell in the bone marrow of a newborn baby. Teenagers have one tenth of newborn’s stem cells. By the age of fifty people have the following ratio of stem cells – for every 0,5 mln there is 1 stem cell, at seventy we have only 1 stem cell for every 1 mln cells.
Nowadays, researches have developed a method of harvesting, cultivation and administration into the organism of mesenchymal stem cells from the patient’s or donor’s bone marrow cells as well as creating optimal conditions for their growth in the body.
In contrast to other types of stem cells, MSCs do not result in any adverse reactions. Therefore, great attention in the world is paid to MSC technologies. It can be explained by unique properties of MSCs to develop into different cell types in relation to particular type of tissues and organs.
Mesenchymal stem cell have the ability to renew injuries by transformation into necessary cells (bone cells, smooth muscle cells, hepatic cells, cardiac cells, nerve cells, etc) and to encourage regeneration of organs and tissues by decelerating the aging.