Stem Cells - Pellcellmedicals

Stem cells: the nectar and ambrosia of the Gods…

WHAT IS A STEM CELL?

The stem cell is the mother of every cell in our body and is defined as a cell that can divide with or without differentiation, depending on the symmetry of the division. After a symmetric cell division, 2 of the same daughter cells are formed, which means that one stem cell divides into 2 identical stem cells. However, when the division is asymmetrically, the stem cell is able to form a more specialized daughter cell, which eventually becomes part of a group of cells which are able to regenerate a tissue or a whole organ! The embryo contains pluripotent embryonic stem cells which are able to differentiate into every cell type of the three germ layers (endoderm, mesoderm, and ectoderm) of the embryo. After the gastrulation process, the pluripotent SCs give rise to multipotent SCs which continue the developmental process with more specific tasks. These multipotent stem cells remain present during the entire life of the individual and have a lower plasticity than embryonic stem cells, but they are much safer to use in practice, and therefore, are interesting in the light of regenerative medicine. In this regard, Pell Cell Medicals develops isolation, characterization and afterwards clinical application techniques, starting from adult multipotent stem cells in different mammal species.

WHAT REGULATES THE STEM CELL?

But which force determines the type of daughter cell that will be formed? The answer to this question lies within the "stem cell niche". This is the micro-environment or natural habitat of stem cells. Changing the niche is changing the outcome of each stem cell. You can compare this phenomenon with the adaptation of chameleons to the changes in their environment. So if you mimic a skin environment, the right stem cell will change into a skin cell, and if you mimic a breast matrix, this cell will turn into a breast cell. The main difference with a chameleon though, is that a stem cell reaches her final destination as a differentiated adult cell. Just imagine what adult multipotent stem cells can do for you in the right niche!

WHY STEM CELLS?

Different types of stem cells are being studied because of their capability of forming or regenerating organs and tissues when injuries occur. In contrast to embryonic stem cells, somatic stem cells can be recovered from autologous adult tissues, thereby decreasing the risk of graft rejection and teratoma formation. Therefore, the isolation and characterization of stem cells from different tissues, such as bone marrow, adipose tissue, peripheral blood and umbilical cord (blood) are well known. However, the percentage of stem cells is very low in each organ or tissue, and therefore, also the purification and characterization is a very important aspect of stem cell research. In this way, the contamination with non-stem cells may be avoided. For that reason, Pell Cell Medicals attaches great importance to research and clinical studies before starting a production. Since constant regeneration of the skin is achieved due to somatic stem cell differentiation within the epidermis and the hair follicle, stem cells are an important factor in healing different types of skin diseases (Grandi et al., 2012; Staniszewska et al., 2011). In this regard, it has been proposed that stem cells could be useful in the treatment of several diseases, such as burn wounds, chronic wounds, and ulcers (Draheim and Lyle, 2011). In addition, ectodermal dysplasias, monilethrix, Netherton syndrome, Menkes disease, hereditary epidermolysis bullosa, and alopecias could also benefit from these cells (Draheim and Lyle, 2011).