Stem Cells have been in the news for the last several years because of their incredible versatility. While many people have heard of them, they may not fully understand what they are, and how they can be useful in orthopedic care.
Fortunately, the orthopedic doctors at ClinTech in Johnstown are specialists in stem cell therapies and treatments and have a profound and complex understanding of these incredible cells.
At the most basic understanding, stem cells are the foundation upon which all of the organs, tissues, and blood in the body is made from them. Stem cells are important because they can transform into other types of cells that can repair and regenerate damaged and diseased tissues. Stem cells can replace themselves and are essentially a renewable resource in the body. Because of this, stem cells are referred to as “regenerative cells.”
Three Major Types
Stem cells can be found in three major types:
Adult Stem Cells
The cells in the human body are made up of adult stem cells. The earliest adult stem cells are found in the placenta and umbilical cord of a child. Adult stem cells are able to develop into most any other cells or tissues in the body. There are also tissue-specific stem cells that can only replace the tissues or organs that they live in.
Induced Pluripotent stem cells (iPS) are a form of adult skin stem cells that have been reprogrammed to return back to a flexible state so that they can be used in any tissue or organ. These cells are the subject of intense study and research because of their use in producing cells that can stop or undo the damage of degenerative diseases. These cells are collected directly from the patient and used in their infected area to ensure that there is no risk of transplant rejection.
Embryonic Stem Cells
These stem cells are collected from in vitro fertilization clinics and are researched with the permission of the donor. These cells are pluripotent, meaning that they can develop into all of the cells and tissues in the human body. These cells reproduce very rapidly and are often used to test and research new treatments for diseases.