WHAT ARE STEM CELLS? ROLE AND USES OF STEM CELLS IN MEDICINE?
What are stem cells?
Stem cells are cells that can self-renew, proliferate, and differentiate into specialized cell types to perform functions in a specific tissue. (first)
Stem cells can be isolated from many different sources, in which stem cells from blood and umbilical cord tissue provide a significant amount of stem cells and have many outstanding advantages. In case a child has stem cells stored, these cells can be propagated to increase the number of cells for treatment. From umbilical cord blood, hematopoietic stem cells can be isolated. From umbilical cord tissue, mesenchymal stem cells can be isolated. Hematopoietic stem cells, when infused into the body intravenously, will move to the bone marrow. Here, they will proliferate and develop into new blood cells to replace defective old cells.
Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation can cure many serious diseases related to the hematopoietic system such as multiple myeloma, acute leukemia, thalassemia, etc. As for mesenchymal stem cells, the potential for therapeutic applications in Treating many different diseases is based on two main mechanisms: the ability to differentiate into functional cells to replace damaged cells and the ability to modulate immunity. Clinical trials using these cells focus on diseases related to the immune system such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), graft-versus-host disease (GvDH) and some lesions such as osteoarthritis, osteoarthritis, and osteoarthritis. Long-lasting injuries due to diabetes,…
In Vietnam, research and application of hematopoietic stem cells in medicine and treatment of diseases has been carried out since the 90s of the twentieth century. Recently, mesenchymal stem cells have also been applied in the treatment of osteoarthritis and in trials in the treatment of diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cirrhosis, etc.
Applications of stem cells
1. In regenerative medicine
Stem cells are multipotent cells that have the ability to transform into specialized cell types in the human body. Therefore, the function of stem cells is to serve as a repair system, replacing damaged or dead cells.
Create healthy cells to replace diseased cells and treat diseases: Stem cells are used to supplement, replace, and repair dysfunctional cells that cause disease or damaged cells. old, weak, injured. Therefore, stem cell biotechnology is being used to treat many dangerous and incurable diseases. In the future, stem cells are also expected to be able to develop into new tissues and be used in transplantation and regenerative medicine. (4)
2. Support understanding the pathological mechanism:
The use of stem cells also helps medical experts increase their understanding of disease mechanisms through research on adult stem cells that differentiate into other cells in the body such as neurons, heart muscle, cartilage, bone, etc., thereby better understanding the disease mechanism as well as the causes and progression of the disease.
3. Testing and developing drugs:
Thanks to cell culture, the time for research and development of drugs will be greatly shortened. The use of cultured stem cells helps screen the toxicity of new drugs as well as research the effectiveness of the drug, checking whether the drug has any effect on the body’s cells, whether the cells are damaged or not.