Embryonic Stem (ES) cells can be directed into a wide range of cell types and proof of concept studies are taking place for preclinical studies to correct human diseases in animal models of a variety of conditions, including diabetes, myocardial infarction, Parkinsonâs disease, and liver disease. One of the opportunities with ES cells is for correction of loss of central vision through age-related macular degeneration. Embryonic stem cells have huge clinical potential because they can be expanded, in the laboratory, to generate millions of identical ES cells that can readily be converted into any tissue type. Several researchers explore the potential of adult stem cell to be used in therapy. Adult stem cells can be received from bone marrow, muscle, brain and placental cord. The type of adult stem cell that has huge clinical potential is termed as Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSC), which are found in fat and bone marrow and thus can be readily harvested and multiplied for use as stem cell therapies. MSCs can be turned into bone, cartilage, tendons and muscle, and thus could be invaluable for the treatment of orthopaedic injuries. Also, there is evidence that MSCs are more plastic than initially believed and can transdifferentiate into nonskeletal tissues, including liver, pancreas and neural cells. Adult stem cells have some advantages in terms of clinical applications over embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells because their use poses no ethical conflicts nor involves immune rejection problems. In common with embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells have the ability to differentiate into more than one cell type, but unlike the former they are often restricted to certain types or âlineage.
Prakash S Bisen, Potential of Stem Cell Research
Last date updated on July, 2014