Stem cells provide new cells for the body as it grows. They can regenerate themselves and replace specialized cells that are damaged or lost. This property makes stem cells appealing for scientists seeking to create medical treatments that replace these lost or damaged cells.
Stem Cells in many tissues serve as a sort of internal repair system, dividing essentially without limit to replenish other cells as long as the person or animal is still alive. When a stem cell divides, each new “daughter” cell has the potential either to remain a stem cell or become another type of cell with a more specialized function, such as a muscle cell, a red blood cell, or a brain cell.
A Stem Cell has three properties that set them apart from other cells.
A Stem Cell is self-renewing, meaning it can make copies of itself and continue to divide indefinitely.
A Stem Cell can be an undifferentiated Cell that does not have a specialized feature or function that is associated with most of the cells in the body.
Ability to Differentiate
A Stem Cell has the ability to divide (or differentiate) and turn into other, more specialized types of cells in the body.
Our human bodies are made up of over
The Amount of Stem Cells
that are in our bodies will decrease over the years and become less potent and functional as our bodies age.
Stem Cells commonly come from three main sources
Where Embryonic Stem Cells are formed during the blastocyst phase of human development.
Placental/Cord Stem Cells
A rich source for Hematopoietic Stem Cells. Mesenchymal Stem Cells are derived from the placenta and umbilical cord.
Somatic Adult Tissue
Where Adult Stem Cells are found inside different types of tissue such bone marrow, blood and fat.
are usually categorized by their potential to differentiate or change into other types of cells. Stem Cells have different levels of potency (the number of possible fates open that the cell can become) that they are classified under.
Stem Cells that have the ability to develop into all possible cell types in the human body. Examples are the zygote formed at egg fertilization and the first few cells that result from the division of the zygote.
Stem Cells that have the ability to differentiate into almost all cell types. Examples include embryonic stem cells and cells that are derived from the mesoderm, endoderm, and ectoderm germ layers that are formed in the beginning stages of embryonic stem cell differentiation.
Stem Cells that have the ability to differentiate into a closely related family of cells. Examples include hematopoietic (adult) stem cells that can become red and white blood cells or platelets.
Stem Cells that have the ability to differentiate into a few cells. Examples include (adult) lymphoid or myeloid stem cells.
Stem Cells that have the ability to only produce cells of their own type, but have the property of self-renewal required to be labeled a stem cell. Examples include (adult) muscle stem cells.
Stem Cell Facts
There are three main different cell types in our bodies.
- Ectoderm – Our nerves, skin, eye lens and hair
- Mesoderm – Our blood vessels, heart, bones, kidneys and tendons
- Endoderm – Our lungs, intestines, stomach, colon and mouth
Mesenchymal Stem Cells are Multipotent Adult Stem Cells that are found throughout our bodies. They are derived from Mesoderm cells and can be used to replace worn out, injured or dead cells throughout the body in our muscles, bones, cartilage or tendons.
All Mesenchymal Stem Cells are Paricytes, which means they are actually sitting on every single blood vessel in your body. When an injury occurs somewhere in your body, these Paricytes will detach itself from the vessel and then turn into a Mesenchymal Stem Cell and become activated.
Mesenchymal Stem Cells have a “homing” feature that allows them to home in on the injured section of the body and go to work repairing those damaged cells.
MSCs are heterogeneous population of multipotent cells found in a variety of tissues including adipose tissue, bone marrow, cord blood, and Wharton’s jelly.
Regenerative medicine is changing how damaged tissues and organs are treated. Stem cells present a tremendous treatment opportunity for aging-related diseases and for palliative treatment. Stem cells are unique cells that have the capacity to self-renewal and the ability to differentiate into different cell phenotypes. Allied Stem Cells offers cells sourced from cord blood (CB) and the Wharton’s Jelly (WJ) of the umbilical cord. These cells are sourced from the byproducts of the birthing process and are not fraught with ethical concerns that come with human embryonic stem cells.
Stem Cells were first identified in cord blood over 40 years ago. Since then cord blood has been used routinely for Hematopoietic Stem Cell transplantation. Cord blood contains a mixed population of cells, including Hematopoietic Stem Cells (HSC) and Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSC). These cells have the capacity to self-renew, release growth factors, and further develop into more specialized cells. These cells have also been associated with contributing to tissue homeostasis, anti-inflammatory responses and antioxidant effects. This collection of cells can work together to provide a synergistic effect to offset the naturally occurring processes that typically derive from age and environmental factors.
Our Cord Blood Stem Cells (CBSC) is a minimally manipulated human tissue allograft suspension derived from umbilical cord blood. A proprietary process is utilized to preserve the tissue characteristics and properties of the cord blood.
Umbilical cord blood carries the oxygen and nutrients necessary for a baby’s growth and development. It is also a rich source of stem cells. These stem cells include:
- Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC), which can develop into a variety of connective tissues, and are reported to modulate inflammatory responses. In addition, they can secrete several healthful growth factors.
- Hematopoietic stem cells (HSC), which can develop into blood cells, including a wide variety of white blood cells and platelets.
- Endothelial stem cells, which normally contribute to blood vessels.
Our CBSC purification process removes unwanted cells from umbilical cord blood (e.g., mature red blood cells, and polymorphonuclear leuocytes) and concentrates the stem cell population. The same populations of stem cells found in umbilical cord blood are found in our CBSC suspension. An independent study showed that 75% of the CBSC cells survive freezing and thawing.
Human Umbilical Cord Blood Plasma (hUCBP) is a minimally manipulated product derived from the liquid phase of blood and is rich in carious cytokines, growth factors and immune modulatory factors. These messaging molecules are able to regulate immune and adult stem cells to promote homeostasis. In addition, these growth factors and cytokines contain plasticity promoting proteins that may have age managing effects.
One such age managing factor, enriched in hUCBP, is tissue inhibitor metalloproteinases 2 (TIMP-2), a factor that may increase synaptic plasticity and hippocampal function. In addition, hUCBP has been shown to activate quiescent neural stem cells in the sub-ventricular zone and modulate how T cells produce, which may assist or be involved in brain injury recovery.
Human umbilical cord blood plasma (hUCBP) is the liquid phase of cord blood. hUCBP is isolated using a sterile technique during the processing of cord blood stem cells. hUCBP contains various cytokines, growth factors, and immune modulatory factors that are able to regulate immune cells and adult stem cells. For example, hUCBP is enriched with the tissue inhibitor metalloproteinases 2 (TIMP2).
The human umbilical cord connects the placenta to the developing fetus. Within the umbilical cord lies Wharton’s Jelly, a mucoid connective tissue. Wharton’s Jelly contains a rich source of stem cells, including mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). A proprietary process is utilized to preserve the growth and other native components of the Wharton’s Jelly for homologous use.
The umbilical cord, often considered the cord of life, is largely composed of Wharton’s Jelly. This gelatinous structural tissue consists of structural proteins and components, such as collagen and hyaluronic acid, which work together to dampen the physical stresses during development. The tissue is also an abundant source of Mesenchymal Stem Cells that are captured during fetal development and a rush source of developmental cytokines, chemokines and growth factors.
Amniotic tissue, the innermost layer of the placenta, has unique properties that make it useful for allogeneic uses. It does not cause a substantial immune response in the human body. In addition, this tissue has been shown to reduce inflammation and fibrosis. The proteins in amniotic tissue provide a structural matrix for cellular attachment. These proteins act as an anchor for the patient’s own migrating stem cells and offers them a scaffold for tissue reconstruction.
Amniotic tissue is a biological acellular product derived from human amnion. Amniotic tissue is comprised of an extracellular matrix that forms a natural scaffold. Amniotic tissue has a series of anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral properties as well as low immunogenicity. This natural scaffold works as a physical barrier that can contain cells to an affected area by maintain adhesion of cells.
Amniotic fluid is a biological acellular product derived from the human amnion. Amniotic fluid is rich in growth factors and cytokines including growth factor (EGF), transforming growth factor alpha (TGF alpha), transforming growth factor beta-1, and insulin-like growth factor (IGF1). Importantly, amniotic fluid contains factors related to the innate immune system including a spectrum of antimicrobials effective against bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses.
Just like many normal cells in the body, stem cells are able to divide and produce new copies of themselves. If a stem cell is “embryonic,” it is able to form any cell types of the embryo and adult, and is thus called totipotent (gives rise to all cell types or organism). Adult stem cells are found in postnatal tissue and are multipotent, meaning they are able to form many, but not all tissue cells of the body. The main difference between the two is that undifferentiated cells have no specialization of gene expression, whereas adult or differentiated cells “remember” where they came from, and can only become that particular tissue that it is genetically programmed to be.
It is important to note that the term “adult,” refers to the cell itself and not to the age of the subject from which the cell was derived.
A significant advantage of adult stem cells is that they offer the potential for autologous stem cell donation. In autologous transplants, recipients receive their own stem cells, reducing the risk of immune rejection and complications. Additionally, Adult Stem Cells are free of the ethical issues associated with embryonic stem cells and have become widely used in research.
Stem cell-based therapy has proved to be a promising treatment option for neurological disorders. However, there are difficulties in successfully administrating these stem cells. For example, the brain–blood barrier impedes the entrance of stem cells into the CNS after systemic administration. Direct transplantation or injection may result in brain injury, and these strategies are clinically less feasible. Intranasal administration is a non-invasive and effective alternative for the delivery of drugs, vector-encoded viruses or even phages to the CNS. Recent studies have in fact demonstrated that stem cells may enter the CNS after intranasal administration. These results suggest that intranasal delivery may provide an alternative strategy for stem cell-based therapy.
This review summarizes current studies that have applied the intranasal delivery of stem cells into the brain. In addition, the distribution and fate of stem cells in the brain and the potential opportunities as well as challenges of intranasal stem cell delivery are also discussed.
Intranasal delivery of stem cells is a new method with great potential for the transplantation of stem cells into the brain, and it may provide an extraordinary approach to overcoming the existing barriers of stem cell delivery for the treatment of many neurological disorders. This potential benefit emphasizes the importance of future research into intranasal delivery of stem cells.
The Science of Mesenchymal Stem Cells