If you are pregnant and are regularly seeing a doctor, then you would have probably heard about stem cells. Doctors usually tie up with stem cell banking companies as they help in the treatment of various diseases and injuries that may happen to the baby in future. Stem cells are utilized as regenerative medicines in the body to cure various diseases. Read on to know more about stem cells and stem cell banking in India.
What are stem cells?
Stem cells are the first-born cells of the human body which first develop at the time when the child is born and get regenerated to produce new organs.
Stem cells refer to special human cells that have the ability to develop into different cell types, ranging from muscle cells to brain cells. In some cases, apart from treating various medical conditions, stem cells also help in treating damaged tissues; they also help in treatment of serious medical conditions like paralysis and Alzheimer’s.
Types of stem cells
Stem cells are of two types:
Embryonic stem cells: These types of cells are mainly used for research purposes, developed from unused embryos which are a result of in vitro fertilisation procedures. These cells have the ability to turn into more than one type of cells.
Adult stem cells: Adult stem cells are of two types i.e. pluripotent stem cells and other cells being the ones that come from fully developed tissues. These tissues consist of only a small number of cells and are likely to generate only certain types of cells i.e. brain tissue will generate only brain cells. On the other hand, with pluripotent stem cells, adult stem cells undergo change in a lab to form embryonic cells.
Can stem cells be preserved?
Yes, stem cells can be preserved with the process called stem cell banking. There are banks created for preservation of stem cells where the cells are stored at a low temperature to prevent them from being contaminated or degenerated. Stem cell banking is also known as cord blood preservation.
What is stem cell banking?
As the name suggests, stem cell banking refers to the process of procuring stem cells from the human body, processing and storing the same for future use. These cells are preserved at standard and quality controlled preservative procedures to ensure they don’t lose out on their properties. Preserving cells through stem cell banking ensures a healthy future not only for the baby but also for the baby.
How does stem cell banking help?
Over the years, as your body ages or you face an illness or an injury, various parts of your body can get affected or its functions can be impacted. Stem cells have the ability to repair or replace the affected parts by restoring the body’s function back to normal.
Using stem cells over 80+ diseases can be treated. They are effective in treatment of genetic disorders, metabolic and immune disorders, treatment of cancer such as lymphomas and leukaemia, etc.
Over the years, 13 lakh transplants have been done with the help of stem cells and they are being used successfully for further use in the below areas:
- Tissue regeneration
- Treatment of diseases
- Cardiovascular tissue repair
- Blood disease treatment and nerve cell replacement
There are various labs in India such as Life Cell, Reliance Life Sciences, etc. which are into stem cell banking, helping you preserve your and your baby’s future. Preserving your stem cells today can protect you from life threatening diseases in the future.