Stem cells are basically undifferentiated biological cells which are capable of differentiating into specialized cells and division through mitosis—to produce multiple new stem cells. They act as power packed repair systems for our body and are used for replenishing damaged adult tissues.
Read on for valuable insights into how stem cell research is being used to pioneer new organs (even a heart) and tissue replacement –in more ways than one.
Synthetic universal tissues with Stem Cells
According to research reports, embryonic stem cells are capable of being spun into viable polymer threads. This technique is being used for weaving flexible synthetic tissues which are capable of adapting to all kinds of transplant environments. This approach is an extremely positive step for the replacement and production of artificially created organs. These artificial organs are capable of weaving stem cells into universal synthetic tissues, which give humans a new lease of life.
Techniques for shaping living stem cells into synthetic tissues
The techniques for shaping living human cells into custom-made tissues are many. They include the processes which are based on inkjet printers and those which require air pressure to pull human cell solutions into long threads. These techniques are helpful in weaving networks of threads, which contain live brain cells– without leading to their breakdown or damage.
Similar techniques can be employed for creating threads associated with embryonic stem cells. One of the most popular techniques is electro-spraying, which uses two stainless steel needles, to combine a stream of biodegradable and viscous polymers with suspensions of embryonic stem cells. Voltage is applied to the needle to charge the polymer cells and this accelerates an “earthed” copper ring—located a short distance away. Single thin threads are produced by this technique.
Creation of new organ structures
Blood flow networks in bio-scaffolds boast of fat, blood, and bone marrow. Stem cell research is now being used to create three dimensional, rejection free organ structures.
With stem cell research pioneering new organs, more novel approaches are coming to the forefront. Explanted microcirculatory beds (EMBs) containing capillary beds, efferent vein, afferent artery and parenchymal tissues are being used to preserve EMB viability and function in bioreactors. This rapidly evolving field of stem cell biology is being seeded with multipotent adult progenitor cells (MAPCs), bone marrow and adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). These are three distinct populations connected with stem cell research.
Synthetic tissue and scaffolds structures are moving towards fully functional artificial organs. Progenitor cells and stem cells are acting as repair systems for the body and are being widely used for replenishing adult tissues. They have the potential of differentiating/developing into all types of specialized cells – endoderm, ectoderm and mesoderm and maintaining the normal turnover of the regenerative parts of the human system. These organs include intestinal tissues, blood or skin.
With further advancements in stem cell research, practitioners are now looking towards proven and tested methods of pioneering new organs –including a new heart. This advance has managed to clear away some major hurdles linked with bioengineered replacement organs.