Types of Stem Cells & Their Uses in Stem Cell Therapy

All organs and tissues of the body start as stem cells. They’re formed at different stages of life, with embryonic stem cells existing in the very early phases of development and adult stem cells appearing in specific types of tissue later on. These powerful cells have the abilities of self-renewal and differentiation, or development into specialized cell types. Due to these remarkable capabilities, stem cells are being widely used in regenerative medicine.

From autoimmune diseases to neurodegenerative and orthopedic conditions, there are many applications for which various types of stem cells are being used. They can slow or halt disease progression, build and regenerate new healthy tissue, suppress inflammation, and alleviate symptoms such pain and reduced range of motion. Discover the different types of stem cells and how they’re being used in stem cell therapy below.

Tissue-specific Stem Cells

Also known as adult or somatic stem cells, tissue-specific cells have more of a limited ability to mature into various cell types compared to embryonic stem cells, but they can still can generate different types of cells. For example, research indicates stem cells derived from bone marrow could create either bone or heart muscle cells. They have therefore been used in stem cell therapy trials to help patients with chronic conditions, such as neurological or heart issues. 

Mesenchymal Stem Cells

Mesenchymal stem cells, or MSCs, are isolated from connective tissue surrounding organs and other tissue types. Also known as stromal cells, MSCs can be found in adipose (fat tissue), umbilical cord blood, and bone marrow, as well as certain types of dental tissue and umbilical cord tissue. They share many of the properties of other stem cell types, including the ability to differentiate into other cell types, as well as immunomodulation and secretion of anti-inflammatory molecules. Because they are more easily accessible than other stem cell types but still hold powerful healing capabilities, they are considered an effective tool for the treatment of chronic diseases. Researchers have used MSCs for neurodegenerative, autoimmune, and orthopedic conditions such as multiple sclerosis, lupus, Crohn’s disease, stroke, ALS, and osteoarthritis, among other conditions.

Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells are engineered in laboratories to convert specific cell types into those with embryonic stem cell properties. iPS cells are helping researchers explore findings about development, disease, and potential treatment methods.

This post was written by Becky Palmer, a medical professional at Stemedix Inc. At Stemedix we offer Regenerative Medicine, also known as Stem Cell Therapy in Tampa, this therapy naturally acts to rebuild and regenerate neural tissues that are lost from the progression of all different types of diseases.