The advancements in science and technologies have not just made life comfortable but have given a ray of hope to many. One such advancement is the discovery of stem cell therapy.
Stem cells are the undifferentiated cells extracted from many sources, like an embryo, umbilical cord, cord blood, placenta, bone marrow, teeth, etc. that can transform into any cells or tissue or organ in your body. This discovery has paved the way for the treatment of over a hundred life-threatening diseases and disorders.
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• Embryonic stem cells
They are stem cells extracted from the embryos formed during the blastocyst phase of embryological development.
• Adult stem cells
They are stem cells derived from the adult tissue. Here the potency plays a significant role.
The potency is the potential of a cell to differentiate into other types of cells. For example, embryonic stem cells have the potency to convert into any cells whereas adult stem cells have a confined potency.
It is due to its potency, stem cells have gained a lot of attention from scientists, doctors, and researchers all over the world. Especially the embryonic stem cells since it can be induced to become any desired cell type. Under the right conditions, this powerful property of stem cells can be harvested for regenerating damaged tissue and treating many health-related issues. This is where stem cell banking walks in.
Stem cell banking or stem cell preservation is a facility provided by maternity hospitals (or any other hospitals) for extracting, processing and storing stem cells so that when required in the future, it can be retrieved from the bank and used for treating many health problems. Therefore, if you are pregnant or due any time soon, we suggest you talk to your gynaecologist regarding this option.
Cord blood banking is the extraction and storage of stem cells from the umbilical cord. As discussed before there are numerous sources of stem cells and each can be banked successfully (quantity and quality-wise), but the most popular amongst all sources is the umbilical cord because of its quick, hassle-free and painless procedure. The stem cells from the umbilical cord are extracted during the childbirth and are remarkably successful.
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Given below are a few benefits of Stem Cell Banking:
The stored stem cells can be used to regenerate tissue and organs when in need. In case of organ failure, organs can be regenerated, donated and transplanted, to meet the demand of organs needed, such as skin tissues.
Cardiovascular issues are mainly caused by faulty blood vessels. Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital were able to make new blood vessels from the stored stem cells which were as real and functional as natural ones. Therefore, the stem cells extracted and preserved in the bank can be used to repair or regenerate tissues that could eventually help treat human patients with vascular and cardiovascular diseases.
Type I diabetes is an autoimmune disease where the body produces no/very less insulin to convert the glucose in the body due to faulty pancreatic cells. The preserved stem cells can be used to develop pancreatic cells and transplanted into patients with type I diabetes. These cells may replace the insulin-producing cells that were lost or destroyed by the patient's immune system, and hence the problem can be reversed.
Cord blood stem cells and placental stem cells are very successful in treating conditions like leukaemia, sickle cell anaemia, and other immunodeficiencies since they are capable of differentiating into all blood cell types, such as RBCs (red blood cells) that carry oxygen to white blood cells that fight disease.
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Stem cells are non-toxic which means that they are devoid of any side effects when compared to the toxic chemical drug. Therefore, preserving stem cell and using it for the treatment can be a solution to better treatment results, with no side effect, and lower costs. So why not opt for stem cells banking right?
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