Stem cells are well-known for their incredible healing potential and controversial nature. But did you know there’s more than one type of stem cell? Learn more here.
Stem Cell Types Used in Research & Therapy
Stem cells are an incredible type of cell found in all life on the planet. What makes stem cells unique is their ability to transform into any type of cell in the body. Stem cells are found throughout the body in areas like your organs, bone marrow, skin, muscle, and more. Stem cells are able to replicate themselves into any type of cell and renew infinitely, which gives them miraculous healing abilities. In fact, when your body experiences an injury or cut, it uses its own supply of stem cells to heal the injured area. If it wasn’t for stem cells, you wouldn’t be able to heal a cut or broken bone.
Stem Cells and Aging
As you age, the number of stem cells in your body begins to diminish. Because of this, elderly individuals have a harder time recovering from an injury or cut when compared to younger groups of people. Fortunately, stem cells injections may hold the answer to this problem.
In stem cell treatment, a doctor injects stem cells into your injury. It’s believed that the injected stem cells can help support an injured joint, tendon, muscle, organ, and more.
Where Do Stem Cells Come From?
In general, there are 4 different types of stem cells used in research and treatment including:
- Embryonic Stem Cells
- Tissue-Specific Stem Cells
- Mesenchymal Stem Cells
- Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
Embryonic stem cells have shown incredible potential in the treatment of many different medical conditions. These types of stem cells are obtained from embryos in the development stage, shortly after fertilization. Embryonic stem cells are typically donated and grown in-vitro and can be obtained through both animals and humans.
Tissue-Specific Stem Cells, usually referred to as adult stem cells, are found in tissue and organs. Adult stem cells can self-replicate and differentiate into practically any type of tissue or organ. It seems that embryo stem cells may self-renew better, however. These types of stem cells are usually obtained from bone marrow.
Mesenchymal Stem Cells are derived from tissue surrounding certain organs in the body. These types of cells are technically not stem cells, but they have exhibited stem cell like properties in research.
Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells are not naturally found in the human body but instead created using adult stem cells in a lab. While pluripotent stem cells exhibit many of the same properties of other types of stem cells, scientists are still researching their best use.