Stem cells come from early-stage embryo cells. They originate from adult body tissues for example bone marrow or fat. They help generate other cells that can be used for specialized body functions. These cells can be used for the treatment of many incurable diseases.
Where do Early-Stage Embryo Cells come from?
The cells are extracted from body tissues. They are of various types and found from different sources.
Embryo Stem Cells
ESC’s are found in the earliest stage of embryo development. The embryo is called a blastocyst, in the initial few days of pregnancy. Embryonic cells are found in a 4-5 day old blastocyst.
Stem cells from embryos are useful in IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) procedures. They are present in the inner mass of an embryo. When required, they are converted to the skin, blood, or any other type of cells the body needs.
ESC’s differentiate into a larger number of other cells type as compared to ASC’s.
Mesenchymal Stem Cells
Mesenchymal cells found in connective tissues and stroma. This surrounds tissues and body organs. For example, the tissues surrounding the stomach, interesting, lungs or heart.
They can help solve many health problems. Scientists have used MSC cells to create new bone cartilage, bones, and fat cells.
Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
As to the name itself, the cells are ‘induced’ or artificially made in labs. They behave similar to embryonic cells. Useful for many similar purposes.
The induced cells are either extracted from adult tissue or early-stage embryo. They are then kept in a controlled culture where they can divide and reproduce. However, once extracted they may not specialize any further.
These cells when grown and divided in a culture, are called stem-line cells. Scientists use these cells for various purposes.
Adult Stem Cells
Adult stem cells are also called tissue-specific or somatic cells. They are generated by the body throughout life starting from embryo development. They can be used by a person anytime. Adult cells are more specialized than Embryonic ones. However, they exist in a non-specific state until the body needs them. They can be converted to skin or muscle cells when required.
They are found in different body parts. For example, the bone-marrow and gut divide and make new cells and tissues for repair and rejuvenation. They are also found in various body tissues. For example,
- Skeletal muscles,
- Bone marrow,
- Blood and blood vessels
These cells might be difficult to find as they stay in a non-dividing state until the body needs them. Therefore, they may not divide for years until the body requires it. For example, the skin needs to repair from a wound or the liver needs to regenerate after damage.