Understanding the Different Types of Stem Cells

Stem cells begin as a blank sheet of paper, waiting to be written on. They’re found in all multicellular living organisms. Your stem cells exist to create copies of themselves and then transform into specialized cells that can renew and repair bodily tissues.

The pain management experts at MDPain in Greenwood Village and Parker, Colorado, use their knowledge of stem cells to treat and manage many distressing symptoms and diseases. They use the latest innovative techniques to relieve even the most complex chronic pain.

Why are stem cells important?

Because stem cells are essentially a blank page in our internal repair system, they have the incredible potential to turn themselves into all kinds of helpful cells that replenish other cells. 

When a stem cell divides, developing a copy of itself, one of two things happens. Either the new cell becomes another kind of cell with a specialized function, or it remains a stem cell. This process is called differentiation. Stem cells can replicate themselves over and over for as long as you’re alive.

Stem cells are important for many reasons. They are in charge of creating some of the most critical parts of your body, like lungs, heart, skin, and other tissue. When you lose essential cells in your brain, muscles, or bone marrow, stem cells create replacements to keep you healthy.

Different types of stem cells

Several kinds of stem cells are used for various purposes.

Embryonic stem cells

These are stem cells obtained from embryos. Most embryonic stem cells are harvested during in-vitro fertilization, and the embryos must be three to five days old. They can be transformed into any type of cell, which means they have a vast capacity for differentiation.

Somatic (adult) stem cells

Adult stem cells are in all kinds of tissue, like your brain, blood vessels, skin, teeth, and more. Adult stem cells are undifferentiated, meaning they’re cells that have no specialization. 

Scientists consider adult stem cells to be rare, having a limited ability to differentiate or self-renew. This means an adult stem cell can rarely split and create a copy to become another stem cell, or to become a stem cell with a specialized function. Researchers are actively identifying new ways to use adult stem cells in transplants.

Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs)

Adult stem cells that are recoded to act more like embryonic stem cells are induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). This recent discovery by scientists enables researchers to program cells to differentiate into all kinds of specialized cells. In short, this means that iPSCs can be used to create new cells for all your organs and tissue.

Cord blood stem cells

Cord blood stem cells are harvested from a newborn’s umbilical cord. These stem cells are frozen and kept in a stem cell bank for future use. Cord blood stem cells have been shown to treat childhood leukemia, blood cancers, and other genetic blood disorders.

Stem cell therapy

Our pain management specialists at MDPain are expertly trained in stem cell therapy. We want to relieve you of your chronic pain in the safest way possible. Our doctors are compassionate and empathetic, understanding the obstacles in treating your discomfort.

Call us today at one of our two convenient locations. You don’t have to live with pain. We have the solution you need. 

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