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The potential uses of embryonic stem cells

Embryonic stem cells

Embryonic stem cells are derived exclusively from a fertilized egg that has been grown in vitro for 5 to 6 days to form a blastocyst . Within a blastocyst there is a small group of about 30 cells called the inner cell mass , which will give rise to the hundreds of highly specialized cells needed to make up an adult organism. Embryonic stem cells are obtained from this inner cell mass. For research purposes, embryonic stem cells are produced specifically from eggs that have been fertilized in vitro, or in a laboratory and not inside a woman’s body, or in vivo . Embryonic stem cells can come from a frozen fertilized egg or an egg which is fertilized in vitro.

Embryonic stem cells can and do differentiate into all the specialized cells in the adult body. They could be induced to provide an unlimited source of specific and clinically important adult cells such as bone, muscle, liver or blood cells (See Figure 2).

Adult stem cells

Adult stem cells are unspecialized or undifferentiated cells found among specialized cells in an adult tissue or organ. In some adult tissues, such as in bone marrow, muscle, or brain tissue, discrete populations of adult stem cells generate replacements for cells that are lost through disease, injury, or normal wear and tear. Adult stem cells are thought to reside in an area of each tissue where they may remain quiescent , or non-dividing, for many years until they are activated by disease or tissue injury. Where they are found, adult stem cells consist of a very small population of cells within each tissue.

Some adult stem cells retain the ability to form into specialized tissues other than the one from which they originated. For example, blood ( hematopoietic ) cells have not been proven to differentiate into nerve, skeletal muscle, cardiac muscle, or liver cells (see Figure 3). There is some evidence that brain stem cells can differentiate into blood or skeletal muscle cells. However, adult stem cells have a limited number of tissues they can differentiate into and do not have the same potential as embryonic stem cells to become any cell-type.

The environment that adult stem cells grow in has an important, but poorly understood, effect on their fate. The relationship between the adult stem cell environment and its ability to differentiate into other cell-types has also not been fully explained.

Distinctions between embryonic and adult stem cells

Most importantly, adult and embryonic stem cells differ in the type of differentiated cells they can become. While embryonic stem cells can be induced to differentiate into any cell-type, adult stem cells cannot. Most adult cells can only differentiate into the types of cells found in their environment or in the particular tissue or organ where they reside. Therefore in many vital organs, adults do not have the stem cells necessary to regenerate damaged areas; thus scar tissue will develop instead.

Another key difference between embryonic and adult stem cells is the volume of cells one can isolate and grow in vitro . Large numbers of embryonic stem cells can be grown in vitro from a single blastocyst. On the contrary, adult stem cells are rare and methods of growing them still need to be perfected. In addition, due to their limited numbers, it is difficult to isolate a group of adult stem cells in pure form, without having them contaminated with differentiated cells.

Questions & Answers

I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
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characteristics of micro business
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How can I make nanorobot?
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Source:  OpenStax, Stem cell research: a science and policy overview. OpenStax CNX. Aug 03, 2007 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10445/1.1
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