Stem Cells have the ability to make new cells, which generates new tissue as a collection of many cells. Through a process of cell differentiation, they can develop into many different types of cells, such as skin cells, brain cells, lung cells and so on. Stem cells are a key component of regenerative medicine, as they open the door to new clinical applications.
Regenerative medicine teams are studying a variety of stem cells, including adult and embryonic stem cells. Also being studied are various types of progenitor cells, such as those found in umbilical cord blood, and bioengineered cells called induced pluripotent stem cells. Each type has unique qualities, with some being more versatile than others. Many of the regenerative therapies begin with the particular patient’s own cells. For example, a patient’s own skin cells may be collected, reprogrammed in a laboratory to give them certain characteristics, and delivered back to the patient to treat his or her disease.
Tissue banks provide cord tissue from designated hospitals. These stem cells are not from aborted fetuses.
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