Stem cells are unaltered and undifferentiated biological cells that can differentiate themselves into specialized cells and divide, through the process of mitosis, to produce more stem cells. Found in multicellular organisms, in mammals, they are of two types. Embryonic stem cells, isolated from inner cell mass of blastocysts and adult stem cells, found in various tissues. By definition, autologous adult stem cells are obtained from one's own body, is as same as one might bank his or her own blood for future possible surgical procedures and treatment of major conditions.
a. SOURCES OF ADULT STEM
There are three known accessible sources of autologous adult stem cells in humans:
1. Bone marrow, which requires harvesting, i.e. drilling into the bone tissue.
2. Adipose or lipid cells require extraction through liposuction
3. Blood, which requires extraction through Cellsapheresis, wherein blood is drawn from the donor and passed through a machine that extracts the stem cells and returns other portions of the blood to the donor.
In one of the recent methods, stem cells can also be obtained from the “umbilical cord blood” just after birth. The procuring of stem cells is used for replenishing the body tissues and act as a repair system of the body. These stem cells are used in various surgeries, like bone marrow transplantation, where cells can artificially grow and transformed into tissues of special characteristics consistent with the nerve tissue of the organ, such as muscles, intestines, etc.
How stem cells are processed from our body.
b. FETAL SOURCE
Cells located in the organ of the foetuses are known as the fetal stem cell. There are two types of fetal stem cells, which can procure:
1. Stem cells coming from the fetal proper and are generally procured after an abortion. They are not immortal but have a high level of cellular division and multipotency.
2. Extra-embryonic fetal cells, coming from extra-embryonic fetal membranes, not distinguished from adult stem cells. However, they are pluripotent, i.e., capable of giving rise to different cell types.
These cells are active, expand freely without any feeder and are tumorigenic, i.e. capable of forming or tending to form tumors. They are widely helpful in the treatment of tumors of the respective individual. They can differentiate into cells of adipogenic, osteogenic, myogenic, endothelial, etc. Even though the fetal stem cells are a part of an active research, it overcomes the ethical objections to using human embryos as a source of cells. Roman Catholic teaching forbids the use of embryonic stem cells in experimentation; accordingly, the Vatican newspaper "Osservatore Romano" called amniotic stem cells "the future of medicine".
DISADVANTAGES OF STEM CELL TECHNIQUE
Adult stem cell technique therapy is used to treat a number of different diseases or prevent a condition. Bone marrow therapy is a type of stem cell technique therapy which has been used for several years, sans controversy. Although, it is true that other than this method, no other therapy is being used in the medical field.
The major disadvantage of stem cells is that the process may require immunosuppression because of a requirement for radiation before the transplant to remove the previous cells, or to stop the immune system of the body to act against the newly transplanted stem celled-organs. Immunosuppression refers to the state of the body which is a reduced or repressed activation efficacy of the immune system. In general, it is deliberately performed in order to stop the body to reject an organ transplant. However, this process makes the body more vulnerable to diseases, infections and malignancy.
Also, the ability of pluripotent, in certain stem cells, can make it difficult to obtain a specific type of cell, as not all the cells differentiate uniformly. This results in the creation of tissues other than the desired ones.
Moreover, fetal proper stem cells have the risk to create tumors, even after their multipotency. Moreover, they are linked to tumour formation, especially in the case of embryonic stem cells, fetal stem cells, etc.
STEM CELL TECHNIQUE FACILITY ACCESSIBILITY
National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) is a research premiere institute which uses the computational and experimental approaches in the study of molecules, cells and organisms. It provides the facility of teaching and colleting the stem cells for various operational and educational purposes, in order to achieve the perfect level of harmony between the donor and their supplemented artificial organs. Campus-wide Stem cell technique facility (CWSC) is the core facility to provide a platform for Human Pluripotent Stem cell technique (HPSCs) research on campus.
Objectives of the SCF are as follows:
To provide appropriate training for users to culture human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and Human-Induced Pluripotent Cells (HIPSCs).
2.To facilitate users to grow and conduct experiments with Human embryonic stem cells (HESCs) and HIPSCs.
how differentiation happens in a stem cell.
Stem facility in AIIMS, came into existence in 2005, to initiate Clinical and Basic Research in the emerging field of Stem Cells. The Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India is also supporting this facility to emerge as a Centre of Excellence for Stem cell technique Research: Basic and Translational. Also, to encourage this method, All India institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) is planning to launch a new clinical trial to study and check the efficiency of stem cells in the treatment of various medical conditions. In the recent years, stem cell technique therapy showed positive treatment outcome which inspired the AIIMS researchers to begin this trial.
Encouragement of stem cell technique through governmental policies.[/caption]
Consequently, stem cell technique is a relatively new scientific method. Apart from a few researches and experiments, nothing much has been gathered about the whole effects and procedure of the technique. However, it is definitely considered to be the “Marvel-in-the-medicine” field as numerous times, it has helped to save lives and cure tumours. Even though the disadvantages are many, Stem cell technique is a sure method of curing tumours and cancers, if it is significantly improved and perfected, in the future.