WHAT IS A STEM CELL?
REGULATORY & COMPLIANCE
Stem cells are unspecialized cells with the ability to renew and divide to become more specialized cells. They are a repair system for the body. These cells may then be used to replace other cells and tissue that have been damaged or lost due to injury or disease. Doctors and scientists are excited about the potential applications of stem cells in many different areas of medicine.
Why We Need Stem Cells
As we age, our stem cells which are responsible for regeneration and repair, decline in number and function. Healing from injury and disease requires a well-orchestrated regenerative response, with ample healing cells and factors. With age, the quality and quantity of stem cells decline and we no longer have the healing capacity we used to. At birth 1 in every 10,000 cells is a stem cell, by age 60, it’s estimated that only 1 in 2 million cells is a stem cell. As cells become more fragile we start seeing things such as reduced healing time, bone and joint problems, and diseases.
STEM CELL BASICS
MESENCHYMAL STEM CELLS (MSCs)
MSCs are self-renewing, multipotent precursors to other cell types and tissues. Scientists have found MSCs in many tissues from young to old. As we age, we appear to have fewer MSCs with the older MSCs typically behaving differently from the younger MSCs. MSCs have exciting potential and have shown great promise, whether we use our own aged MSCs or a graft from postnatal sources. MSCs have demonstrated indirect local effects (similar to paracrine activity) that appears to be active for many weeks – possibly longer. It is thought that they may be responding to their local environment and, like healthy refreshed soldiers, may be able to effect change and regeneration in a customized way the host cells may no longer be fully capable of. Postnatal tissues have high concentrations of MSCs across multiple compartments/tissues and these MSCs exhibit a more robust secretome and more rapid cell division frequency yet with a lower rate of teratogenesis.