Essay on Mesenchymal Stem Cells: The Possibilities are Endless

Essay on Mesenchymal Stem Cells: The Possibilities are Endless

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Mesenchymal stem cells have been used in treatments for years, however the general public was just unaware. Bone marrow transplants are stem cell therapies. Years ago, these transplants were expensive and uncommon, but today they are performed all the time. Conditions such as degenerative disk disease could be effectively treated without the need for long term medications to decrease the chance of host rejection, spinal surgeries, and would greatly improve the quality of life of the individual by continuing mesenchymal stem cell research.
Mesenchymal stem cells are multipotent cells, meaning they can turn into other cells such as bone, adipose or fat, and cartilage. They are found in the bone marrow. Mesenchymal stem cells have a different cell shape and structure than other types of cells. While these cells are able to turn into other tissue types, they are limited in how many times they can divide and are unable to grow an entire organ. (Nationalstemcellfoundation.org) Bone marrow is not the only location that these mesenchymal stem cells can be found. According to the National Stem Cell Foundation, “There 500 times more mesenchymal stem cells in one gram of fat tissue than there are in one gram of bone marrow”.
By using a patient’s own mesenchymal stem cells, or an autologous transplant (autologous refers to stem cells or tissues coming from the same patient), to treat diseased disks caused by degenerative disk disease, there would be little to no risk of rejection by the patient’s immune system. Most tissue transplants require a lifetime regimen of immuno-suppressant drugs to keep the transplant tissue from attacking the body and causing a serious complication known as Graft versus Host Disease. This disease is extremely pai...


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Marieb, Elaine, and Katja Hoehn. "Chapter 7: The Skeleton." Human Anatomy and Physiology. 9th Edition ed. Glenview, Il: Pearson, 2013. 219. Print.
"National Stem Cell Foundation." National Stem Cell Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2014. .
Sobajima, Satoshi et al. "Feasibility of a Stem Cell Therapy for Intervertebral Disc Degeneration." The Spine Journal 8.6 (2008): 888-96. Web.
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