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Stem cell therapy in India uses the potential of stem cells in therapeutics owing to the two defining characteristics of self-renewal and differentiation into other specialized adult cell types. The general designation of ‘stem cell’ encompasses many distinct types. The common modifiers or  types of “embryonic stem cells” and “adult stem cells” are used to distinguish stem cells by the developmental stage but with more research being widely acknowledged by the public, two major classes of stem cells are recognized for stem cell therapy in India: pluripotent stem cells (they can become any cell in the adult body) and multipotent stem cells (they are restricted to a limited population of cells). 

Types Of Potential Stem Cells For Stem Cell Therapy In India

Pluripotent Stem Cells

Stem cell treatment in India has its primary focus on the regeneration of damaged body tissues and pluripotent stem cells have the potential to cater to the number of tissue damage regeneration. Pluripotent stem cells have the capacity to develop into several types of cell lineages of ectoderm, mesoderm, and endoderm. Pre-implantation embryos of a few days old contain only 10-15% pluripotent stem cells in the blastocyst region and these pluripotent stem cells can be isolated & cultured on a “feeder” cells layer to sustain pluripotency while maintaining proliferation.

Types of Stem Cell in Stem Cell Therapy

In recent times, scientists are working towards producing viable and non-tumorigenic pluripotent cells (induced pluripotent stem cells or iPSCs) from somatic adult cells, using specific gene inserts, to get an advantage of not using embryonic stem cells for stem cell treatment in India. Although mice embryonic stem cells might be used for stem cell treatment in India, owing to some similarities of stemness, human embryonic stem cells or pluripotent stem cells have been in the clinical trial scenario for over a decade to popularize their use in therapy. In 2009, the company Geron started a Phase I clinical trial using human embryonic stem cells for treating patients with acute spinal cord injury but due to financial issues, had to abandon their studies though initial research showed promise (Keirstead et al., 2005) (Walsh, 2012).

In 2010, Advanced Cell Technology (ACT), Massachusetts, got approval for a clinical study to treat Stargardt’s macular dystrophy (SMD) and dry age-related macular degeneration (dry AMD) patients using retinal pigment epithelial cells (RPE) derived from human embryonic stem cells (Vergano, 2010). In January 2012, an article with preliminary results was published and showed no signs of hyperproliferation, tumorigenicity, ectopic tissue formation, or apparent rejection after 4 months (Schwartz et al., 2012). Meanwhile, scientists are trying to unveil the mystery of directed differentiation of pluripotent stem cells into specific cell types to utilize their potential of regenerating any body tissue and use human pluripotent stem cells or iPSCs for stem cell therapy in India.

Multipotent Stem Cells

Due to ethical issues and delay in completely understanding directed differentiation for pluripotent stem cells or embryonic stem cells, clinical studies and therapies have resorted to using multipotent stem cells as a viable option for stem cell therapy in India. Multipotent stem cells like hematopoietic stem cells and mesenchymal stem cells have the plasticity to become progenitor cells for a particular germ layer or a particular tissue.

The multipotent stem cells having the highest differentiating potential are found in the developing embryo during gastrulation and hold the potential to give rise to all cells of their particular germ layer. While pluripotent stem cells can give rise to all three germ layers but multipotent stem cells are specific to particular germ layers. The unipotent cells (can become only one specialized cell type) have the lowest plasticity and are also used for stem cell therapy in India as these limited progenitor cells play a vital role in replenishing aged or injured cells. 

Stem cell therapy in India has been progressing every day with stem cell research-based organizations like Advancells. More technological advances and clinical research are giving a greater push to enhance stem cell therapy in India. If you are looking for free medical consultation for stem cell therapy or regenerative medicine contact info@advancells.com

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