The natural function of stem cells is to find damaged and dysfunctional cells in the body and start the healing and regeneration process. In short, they are healing the body
Stem cells are immature cells that have not yet specialized. They are unique because of their ability to reproduce themselves by cell division. The daughter cells can differentiate into other types of cells but stem cell can also divide in self-renewal to produce more of the same type of stem cells. This is a vital feature because a specialized cell can not go back in maturity on their own.
The are more than 10 000 billion cells in an adult body. All of them originate from a single stem cell. During conception, the egg and sperm merge into a stem cell that begins to divide immediately and become more. As the cells divide, they also become more specialized, they differentiate. Differentiation gives cells certain properties, e.g. if the cell is to become a red or white blood cell or whether it will become a bone or muscle cell.
There are many similarities between people, even though we are different. It is the same with the stem cells that build the tissues of our body. White blood cells or leukocytes are cells in the blood that form part of the body’s immune system, which will protect the body against infectious diseases. Our white blood cells have proteins that allow the body to recognize their own cells and also notice if a cell is unfamiliar.
When transplanting blood forming stem cells, it is important that recipients and donors have the matching tissue type. If the recipient receives cells that match, the risk of a rejection reaction associated with the treatment decreases.
Relationship between donor and recipient has proved important. Generally, a relative is preferred as a donor. The need of exact match between donor and recipient depends on which disease to be treated, the treatment method and the source of stem cell used. Stem cells from umbilical cord blood are a more immature stem cell source compared to bone marrow which makes tissue type matching easier.
Which tissue type a person has can be analyzed by a simple blood sample.
The natural function of stem cells is to find injured cells in the body and start the healing and regeneration process. In short, they heal the body.
Stem cells are used and evaluated for many different disease areas. Cord blood are used to treat 80 serious diseases, such as leukemia and a number of rare hereditary blood diseases.