What is Regenerative Medicine?
Regenerative medicine can be translated to any type of repairment, replacement, rebuilding, and or regeneration of any of the following human anatomy, such as: human organs, cells, tissues, and optimizing said parts back to a functional homeostasis (normal and healthy). Regenerative medicine presents some of the most cutting edge technology (and with very promising results) within the school of progressive and innovative biomedical advances, but the idea of regrowing organs is nothing new to human physiology/human nature. Regenerative medicine of body parts in nature occurs naturally and frequently than one might presume. For example, when a lizard’s tail is cut off, over time, it will completely regenerate back to a state of regeneration. Similarly, humans also have the ability to fully regenerate, even entire body parts naturally as well; however, like most things, the greater the age, the weaker the power to regenerate becomes. Humans can also regenerate, for example: at a younger age, less than ten-years old, an entire severed finger tip can be fully regenerated in very little time.
Over the course of the last few centuries, medicine has gained many successes: anything from penicillin to anesthesia to sterilization. Moreover, there have been many new types of breakthroughs in medicine since. Nonetheless, many pathologies still to this day, cannot be treated by preserving organs affected by maladies, but require lesions to be resected and/or, possibly repaired with autologous tissues, or even those requiring complete replacements. About seven decades ago, the first kidney was successfully replaced. However, this was transplanted among twins, so as to ensure an exponentially better chance of success. Fast forward to the 1980s, a cell transplantation was successfully achieved, where an immunodeficient patient was the recipient of bone marrow from his relative. At first, transplants were relegated to research because of the adverse immunological responses, but the advent of cyclosporine in the 1980s transformed stem cell transplants into life-saving treatments, as the risk of rejection could be drastically reduced.
Nowadays, lifelong issues or negligence of immunity health can bring about an array of negative outcomes, which are directly representing and related to stem cell therapy transplants. Moreover, the other one issue with stem cell therapy is the limited supply of donors, not being able to meet the ever increasing demand of organs. Due to the progressively aging population, stem cell transplants will be increasingly needed to replace heavily damaged organs injured by diseases pertaining to old age.
Regenerative medicine is currently faced with problems that pertain to an evolution of medical treatments and the regeneration of damaged tissues, which is slowly beginning to revolutionize modern medicine, possibly offering even a way to cure rather than simply treat symptoms.
Stem cell therapy is centered around the injection of stem cells obtained by an array of different methods. For example, adult stem cells are taken from a person and/or patient, and then the stem cell transplants are directly implanted after expansion in vitro. Moreover, Biopsied tissues also store adult stem cells (ASCs) that are then utilized for expansion, which in turn become differentiated into a specific type and/or implant as well. In addition, adult skin cells may be used by means of regenerative medicine, reprogramming the stem cells through specific transcription factors in order to obtain induced pluripotent stem cells. Furthermore, Embryonic stem cells derive from the inner cell mass of a blastocyst. Ultimately, the amniotic fluid is a potential source for stem cells as well.
By way of regenerative medicine, stem cells (SCs) can vastly expand, multiply, self-renew, and self-regenerate organically. Consequently, they are able to perpetuate their unchanged state/form, that is until they are signaled to differentiate into a specific cell type. Stem cells can be obtained via a myriad of ways. Regenerative medicine calls upon the extraction of stem cells that are directly derived from the patient who is to receive said stem cell treatment. Stem cells can also be produced via allogeneic–originating from a human donor. Moreover, Stem cells can derive directly from an animal–xenogeneic.
Regenerative medicine utilizes adult Stem cells, which have been separated from nearly all human adult body tissues, regenerating original tissue function after minor injuries. Among these cells, a preeminent role is played by the bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells. Known for its dynamic and diversified culture protocols, these stem cells have shown to be malleable, shapeshifting into many kinds of cells. Such diversified formations and improved advancements are the following: improving and treating bone health, cartilage, nervous, cardiovascular, muscle, GI, and blood diseases. Regenerative medicine, already becoming more accepted and prominent over time, can also vastly improve a wide-range of autoimmune disease, as well as: Arthritis, Alzheimer’s, Parkisons, Autism, Diabetes, Macular Degeneration, and more.
Regenerative medicine has brought about some incredibly advanced, hopeful, and already promising and true results. Regenerative medicine–via Stem cell research–has already opened the door to new discoveries and approaches for curing patients, specifically aimed at curing diseases that have always been difficult to treat, as well as physically impaired tissues. Despite many successes, Regenerative medicine is still unfamiliar to many scientists and clinicians. This poses limitations at present, as tissue engineering and regenerative medicine could overcome the unsolvable problems of the current medical treatments.
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