What are stem cells?
Stem cells are cells capable of self renewal compared to usual tissue cells which age and perish. They are unique and are uncommitted for a characteristic cell with specific function for e.g., muscle cells are functional different as they contract mechanically, so are nerve cells which carry signals from one cell to another. The most important feature of stem cells is that they have potential to generate different tissue cell types. They are also called as ‘progenitor cells’, which literal translates to kind of cells from which other cells originate.
Why preserve stem cells?
Stem cells can be preserved for longer duration under extreme low temperature conditions in the presence of certain cell protective agents. The storage has functional significance since our tissue cells inevitably age, accumulate genetic mutations and die. In the absence of replenishing cells, this loss of cells will lead to several diseases and disorders which we encounter on a day to day basis. Thus it becomes one of prime important step in our life to store stem cells, so that we can treat certain disorders for which traditional medicines have no therapies available.
How are they stored?
Stem Cells Cultivation Cells are fragile and need support to withstand shear mechanical stress produced to freezing and thawing (bringing them back to room temperature), they also have 70% of water by wet weight. The presence of water can lead to formation of ice crystals to prevent that cells are cooled slowly e.g, by drop every 1 degree temperature every minute and also some cyroprotectants will decrease ice crystal formation in cells. We use proprietary user programmable rate freezer, will cools down the sample at a user defined rate. Once, stored cells can be retrieved when needed and can be grown again or used for other purposes.
What are the diseases that can be treated by stem cells?
Theoretically any disease, but ethical and government restriction have enabled much of exploitation of adult stem cells. Therefore, adult stem cells can be used for treatment of more than 70 disorders, for some cases there are the only available and for some they are the cure for the disease. The most widely established stem cell treatment is for blood disorders, immune disorders, some specific cancers by usage of blood stem cells. (For the list of blood disorders please visit -https://bethematch.org/Transplant-Basics/How-transplants-work/Diseases-treatable-by-transplants/). Usage of skin graft and skin stem cells for burns and injury is known, stem cell based treatment for repair damaged cornea has been introduced in Europe. The Australia stem cell website lists nearly 200 clinical trials happening around the world for various classes of disorders.