Modern medical research constantly develops new methods to solve ailments and health conditions that afflict people in the present and in the potential future. One of these research methods is the use of stem cells. Stem cells are blank and undefined, which allows them to turn into other types of cells. This is useful for researchers who use them to understand conditions and possibly correct them.
These are some of the most common applications of stem cell research by medical researchers around the world.
Repairing Damaged Organs
Scientists commonly use stem cells to repair damaged or altered organ tissue. The unique properties of stem cells allows medical leaders such as Kang Zhang to modify and reproduce them to imitate specific tissue cells. These new cells are then used to heal these organs or tissues. Though researchers typically use embryonic stem cells for repair purposes, they mostly prefer non-embryonic, or adult, stem cells, since they can closely replicate the specific tissue they are retrieved from.
Researching Genetic Disorders
Another known use of stem cell research is the investigation of the numerous causes of genetic conditions, diseases and defects. Many of these disorders are degenerative in nature. Therefore, the regenerative nature of stem cells makes them an ideal resource in the research of these conditions. Stem cell research addresses some of the following disorders and deformities:
- Cardiac disorders
- Eye disease
- Bone and muscle degeneration
- Muscle deformities
Researchers usually choose embryonic stem cells, since they can adapt to any condition or situation, making them more useful. However, recent innovations have led to the creation of induced pluripotent stem cells. These are actually non-embryonic, adult stem cells that, after a procedure, gain the ability to turn into cells for any other type of tissue.
Testing Medications and Drugs
One more popular application of stem cells in medical research is the testing of numerous drugs and medications. The adaptive nature of stem cells allows scientists to recreate several types of tissues, where they can also test the effectiveness and side-effects of these substances. This type of stem cell research eliminates the need to test potentially dangerous drugs on human or animal subjects by providing a safer alternative.
The adaptive and regenerative nature of stem cell research allows medical researchers to observe numerous conditions, test various drugs and treat degenerative disorders in an efficient and safe manner. Stem cells will continue to assist the evolution of modern medicine throughout the upcoming years.