Small cells, big potential
All cells originate from a single stem cell
Stem cells are immature cells that have not yet specialized. They are unique because they can reproduce themselves by division, while generating more specialized mature cells. By reproducing themselves they retain their immature stage and the level of stem cells in the body. This is a vital feature because a specialized cell can not go back in maturity on their own.
There is more than 30 000 billion cells in an adult body. All of them have been formed from a single stem cell. During conception, the gametes merge into a stem cell that begins to divide immediately and become more. As the cells divide, they also become more specialized, they differentiate. Differentiation gives cells certain properties, e.g. if the cell is to become a red or white blood cell or whether it will become a bone or muscle cell.
Matching stem cells
There are many similarities between people, even though we are different. It is the same with the stem cells that build the tissues of our body. White blood cells or leukocytes are cells in the blood that form part of the body’s immune system, which will protect the body against infectious diseases. In our white blood cells there are proteins that allow the body to recognize their own cells and also notice if a cell is unfamiliar.
Watch video about stem cells
Stem cells from umbilical cord blood are easier to match
When transplanting stem cells, it is important that recipients and donors have the matching tissue type. The purpose of stem cell transplantation is for the stem cells to mature and replace the damaged or diseased cells that cause the disease. In order for the patient’s body and immune system to be able to accept the new stem cells, it is important that the donor and recipient have a matching tissue type.
Generally, a relative is preferred as a donor. The need of exact match between donor and recipient depends on which disease to be treated, the treatment method and the type of stem cells to be used. Stem cells from the umbilical cord are a more immature source than, comparable stem cells from bone marrow, which makes it easier to match tissue type with stem cells from the umbilical cord.
It is easy to find out which tissue type a person has with a blood sample.
Why are stem cells so valuable?
STEM CELLS ARE INTELLIGENT
The natural function of stem cells is to find damaged and dysfunctional cells in the body and start the healing and renewal process. In short, they are healing the body.
STEM CELLS ARE POWERFUL
Stem cells are evaluated for many different disease areas. Cord blood are used to treat 80 serious diseases, such as leukemia and a number of rare hereditary blood diseases.