Stem cells have become extremely popular over the past couple of decades and for good reason. They’re an amazing tool when it comes to a plethora of medical issues and treatments. One of the aspects that people are curious over is exactly where stem cells come from. It’s important to note that there are embryo stem cells and adult stem cells, and each are gathered in different ways and in various locations in the body.
Embryo Stem Cells
These are the stem cells that many people are familiar with and they seem to be a little controversial for some. These stem cells are gathered from embryos that are fertilized in vitro which means, these are basically grown in a lab dish and growth is fostered in favor of getting healthy stem cells. Of course, there’s a much deeper scientific process behind all of it but, this is the most basic way to state it. The embryos that are taken to harvest stem cells from are not eggs fertilized in a woman’s body. This is all done in a lab using organic embryos that were donated for research purposes and consent is given by the donor.
Adult Stem Cells
Adult stem cells can be collected from quite a few places around the body. Often these stem cells are collected from bone marrow, muscle, skin, teeth, etc. Often, the adult stem cells needed to treat someone are collected from the patient’s own body. This is usually done by injection style and is also administered in the same way. Once the adult stem cells are isolated, they are often then boosted in a lab to make enough of them to be useful for a treatment. Sometimes, depending on the treatment needed, it can take a large number or multiple treatments of adult stem cells which means the stem cells have to be “pushed” to produce more of themselves until there is enough for the needs at hand.
Amniotic fluid is the liquid that surrounds a baby when it’s in its mother’s womb. This fluid contains fetal cells that are one of the best options for creating new tissue. This fluid is commonly full of mesenchymal stem cells which are able to grow any type of tissue needed. In other words, most types of stem cells can only be used in the area of the body they were taken from for treatments. However, embryo cells and fetal cells are mesenchymal which means they can just about be used anywhere in the body for treatment. They adjust into any type of cell they need to be when introduced into the treatment area. This makes them a high demand cell because of their flexibility.
It’s important to note that many of the treatments for stem cells of all types are not approved by the FDA and are still in trial status. There’s one stem cell treatment that has been approved and that’s a bone marrow transplant which is commonly used at most major hospitals. Of course, there’s more of a scientific and in-depth explanation of how stem cells of all kinds are produced. However, this is a great explanation of the basics of production as far as all types of stem cells are concerned.