Library Subscription: Guest
Begell Digital Portal Begell Digital Library eBooks Journals References & Proceedings Research Collections
Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants

ISSN Print: 1050-6934
ISSN Online: 1940-4379

Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants

DOI: 10.1615/JLongTermEffMedImplants.v20.i3.50
pages 219-250

Stem Cells: A New Paradigm in Medical Therapeutics

Sadanand D. Mankikar
Formarly Canadian Blood Services

ABSTRACT

Even though the stem cells have been studied for decades, only during the past few years has there been an overwhelming proliferation of publications covering isolation, cultivation and utilization of the body's master cells. This paper attempts to summarize the recent studies in the field of stem cells. A number of studies have reported the existence of multipotent stem cells in the cord, cord blood, placenta, bone marrow, brain, heart, teeth, skin, liver, hair follicles and many other tissues and organs, giving rise to cell types other than their tissue of origin. Increased therapeutic use of stem cells has resulted in scientific methods of collection, testing, processing and storage of these cells, with minimal cell damage and differentiation. Cell expansion, bioreactors and tissue engineering are employed extensively to improve the cell dose and outcome. Stem cell infusion, transplantation and implantation are accepted curative therapies for many malignant and non-malignant conditions. Stem cell therapies also provide alternative solutions for the repair and regeneration of various tissues and organs. There has been a dramatic improvement in the understanding of immunosuppressive properties of stem cells on various immune cell types. Stem cells are found to secrete angiogenic cytokines that increase neovascularization. They bring the promise of curing a disease state as these cells normally regenerate tissues in a healthy organism. Stem cell transplantation, in isolation or in combination with other procedures, has been found to be effective. Stem cell therapy is also seen as a possible alternative for the treatment of different diseases such as juvenile diabetes, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, cerebral palsy, stroke, spinal cord injury and Parkinson's disease. Regenerative medicine using human stem cells is one of the new and promising fields for treating various intractable diseases and damaged organs.