What is Stem Cell?

A stem cell refers to an undifferentiated cell with self-renewing ability, an all-powerful cell capable of differentiating into 210 tissue cells that capable a human body

Characteristics of Stem Cells

  • Self-Renewal: A stem cell is capable of generating another stem cell with the same form and ability.
  • Differentiation: Differentiation refers to specialization of a stem cell’s structure and function in accordance with a human body needs. A stem cell originally exists undifferentiated, and is capable of changing into another type of tissue that a human body needs.
  • Homing Effect: When injected intravenously, a stem cell is capable of reaching the damaged area on its own.

Type of Stem Cells

There are two types of stem cells: embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells

While embryonic stem cells are not free from the stability and ethical issues, adult stem cells pose no ethical problem because they can be collected from fat, placenta, marrow or cord blood. In particular, adipose stem cells derived from adipose tissues and placental stem cells that exist in placenta at the time of birth are safe, and have superior differentiation capability. They can be applied to treating various incurable diseases caused by cell damage: diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, degenerative arthritis, cardiac infraction, cerebral infraction and renal failure.

 Embryonic stem cellAult stem cell
CharacteristicsAll-powerful cell generated in a fertilized egg at the blastocystCan be found in body tissues and organs
AdvantagesPowerful proliferation, easy self-productionNo immunological rejection, easy medicinal application, no ethical problem
DisadvantagesMay form cancer, immunological rejection, poses ethical problemLimitation of stem cell proliferation, easily loses the characteristics of stem cells

Types of Adult Stem Cells

Cord BloodHematopoietic stem cell, capable of treating blood diseases, can be collected only at birth
PlacentaEasily collected from placenta, can be collected only at birth
FatEasily collected from fat, can be collected from patients in most age groups, provides a large number of stem cells, demonstrates superior cultivation and differentiation capability No immunological rejection
MarrowDifficult to collect from marrows, difficult to acquire and culture the required amount of stem cells, long history of use

Functions of Stem Cells

  • Wound Treatment: Renews damaged cells
  • Differentiation Function: Differentiates into the damaged cells and renews as normal cells
  • Differentiation Function: Differentiates into the damaged cells and renews as normal cells
  • Immune modulation: Modulates immune by normalizing the functions of organs related with immunity
  • Apoptosis Prevention: Prevents apoptosis within a human body
  • Blood Supply through Vessel Renewal Renews damaged blood vessels to help normalize blood supply

Treatable Diseases Using Stem Cells