Stem cells in the treatment of spinal cord injuries

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The field of technology continues to advance every day, and its impact on human life is widely witnessed through the provision of different solutions to daily problems and revolutionizing other fields. The interconnection of biology and technology has been investigated through different scientific methodologies including neurons and neural networks, internet of things and healthcare. This study focuses on informing a friend on the importance of stem cells technology used in treating spinal cord injuries. The study will focus on identifying the different types of stem cells, define their differences including their strengths and weaknesses and finally explain how stem cells are used in treating diseases and injuries.

Stem cells description

According to Chagastelles and Nardi, (2011) stems cells refers to as precursor cells that have the capability of renewing themselves and create more mature cell types. However, there is difficulty in identifying and understanding stem cells’ true nature without any manipulation. This is because cells can only be differentiated with respect to their operating concept after collection and cultures of tissues. Numerous researchers have tried to examine the true nature of stem cells for the past three decades, but they have not specifically defined their actual nature with little knowledge. The unique difference between stem cells and other cells is the property of prolonged self-renewal potential and ability to generate at least a one mature and differentiated cells and functions in vivo (Chagastelles & Nardi, 2011; Karahuseyinoglu et al., 2007). Stem cells are classified into two broad categories of adult and embryonic stem cells, however, small types have been identified with unique characteristics. Moreover, stem cells are said to be undifferentiated, unlike other cells which are differentiated thus stem cells can develop to serve various roles in different parts of the body.

Differences between different types of stem cells, the pros, and cons of each type

Embryonic stem cells

These stem cells emerge from the human embryos, and they are created after three to five days old after fertilization (Chagastelles & Nardi, 2011). In most cases, these stem cells are harvested during the in-vitro fertilization process. Additionally, this entails the fertilization of an embryo in the laboratory rather than using inside of the female body. They are also regarded as pluripotent stem cells. The pros of these cells include the ability to give rise to virtually any type of cells in the human body (Cafasso, 2016), offers potential of curing different medical conditions, protects embryos against injury and destruction, can turn embryonic cells into genetic disorders models thus helping in research of genetic abnormalities and they have limitless and pluripotency expansion in culture thus more effective than adult stem cells. On the other hand, its cons include involves taking life since embryos are regarded as already humans, it is costly, reported issues of complications and failures. 

Adult stem cells

These are also called somatic stem cells are they are characterized as being quiescent and rare cells, and they are limited in the ability to self-renewal and the capacity of differentiation (Chagastelles & Nardi, 2011). For instance, bone marrow in adults contains blood stem cells which are responsible for forming white and red blood cells while connective tissue stem cells form cartilages, fat, bones, and muscles. Examples include mesenchymal and hematopoietic stem cells. Their pros include responsible for replenishing of cells dying within a given organ in the body due to pathological or physiological processes, used for transplants, curing medical conditions. While its cons include, limited availability, harvested ones and used ones in treatment, and they are expensive.

iPS cells (induced pluripotent stem cells)

These are stem cells which are generated in laboratories following the manipulation of other stem cells by researchers particularly through the direct reprogramming of adult cells (Maherali & Hochedlinger, 2008). They are said to possess some embryonic stem cells properties, and researchers hope that this type can be used for new opportunities for stem cell therapy. The pros of iPS cells include the potential of generating patient-specific cells of any lineage, impotent in understanding the development of diseases, used in preventing immune systems from organ transplant rejection (Cafasso, 2016). While the cons weaknesses include ethical issues of the destruction of human embryos, they are not yet fully perfected, the formation of genetic mutations during long-term culture and low rates of reprogramming. 

Stem cells usage in the treatment

Due to their unique properties of stem cells, they are utilized in the treatment of various diseases and injuries. Firstly, they are used in replacing virtually any organ or tissues diseased or damaged. Also, they replace the neurons which have been damaged due to spinal cord injury or diseases such as stroke. On the other hand, they produce insulin used in the treatment of diabetes patients. Most of the published articles argue that spinal cord injury can be treated using autologous bone marrow-derived stem cells and allogeneic human umbilical cord tissue-derived stem cell therapy (Ichim et al., 2010).


Technology and created potential of investigating critical concepts and developing new techniques in biology to help in treating different diseases. For instance, stem cells which have been investigated and developed new categories of induced pluripotent stem cells have improved treatment of diseases and spinal cord injury. Therefore, the friend has the advantage of utilizing this technique to cure his condition.


Cafasso, J. (2016, April). Stem Cell research. Healthline. Retrieved from   

Chagastelles, P. C., & Nardi, N. B. (2011). Biology of stem cells: an overview. Kidney             international supplements, 1(3), 63-67.

Ichim, T. E., Solano, F., Lara, F., Paris, E., Ugalde, F., Rodriguez, J., ... & Murphy, M. P. (2010).        Feasibility of combination allogeneic stem cell therapy for spinal cord injury: a case   report. International archives of medicine, 3(1), 30.

Karahuseyinoglu, S., Cinar, O., Kilic, E., Kara, F., Akay, G. G., Demiralp, D. Ö., ... & Can, A.            (2007). Biology of stem cells in human umbilical cord stroma: in situ and in vitro      surveys. Stem cells, 25(2), 319-331.

Maherali, N., & Hochedlinger, K. (2008). Guidelines and techniques for the generation of         induced pluripotent stem cells. Cell stem cell, 3(6), 595-605.

August 04, 2023

Science Life



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