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Adult stem cells represent an exciting frontier in medicine these days due to its ability to divide or self-renew indefinitely! According to medical literature, adult stem cells are undifferentiated cells found throughout the body among the differentiated cells in tissues or organs that can renew themselves and can differentiate to yield some or all of the major specialized cell types of the tissues or organs. Their primary roles in a living organism are to replenish damaged or aged cells whilst rejuvenate tissue and organs by stimulating the healing process within the body. The use of adult stem cells in research and therapy pose no ethical or political controversy unlike embryonic stem cells because the production of adult stem cells does not require the destruction of an embryo.
Adult stem cells have been identified in many organs and tissues, including brain, bone marrow, peripheral blood, blood vessels, skeletal muscle, skin, teeth, heart, gut, liver, ovarian epithelium, and testis. They are thought to reside in a specific area of each tissue, called a "stem cell niche". In many tissues, current evidence suggests that some types of stem cells are pericytes, cells that compose the outermost layer of small blood vessels. Stem cells may remain quiescent for long periods of time until they are activated by a normal need for more cells to maintain tissues, or by disease or tissue injury.
As illustrated below, scientists have reported that adult stem cells occur in many tissues and that they enter normal differentiation pathways to form the specialized cell types of the tissue in which they reside.
Figure 1: Hematopoietic and stromal stem cell differentiation.
In normal differentiation pathways of adult stem cells, the adult stem cells in a living animal are available to divide when needed, and can give rise to mature cell types that have characteristic shapes and specialized structures and functions of a particular tissue. Examples of differentiation pathways of adult stem cells as illustrated in Figure 1 have been demonstrated in vitro or in vivo.
According to the American Academy of Anti-aging Medicine, stem cells appear to be the most powerful tool in Regenerative Medicine at this time. In this respect, stem cell therapy has a big potential to regenerate and repair damaged tissue, treat and cure some diseases and even slow down or reversing the inevitable aging process!
At Elusyf Biochemistry, we understand the unique properties of stem cells and thus use them for our respective stem cell therapies: -