When Marissa, the daughter of Adrienne Shapiro, was born with sickle cell disorder, the physicians claimed she was not going to survive until her first birthday. However, it did not mean the end of Adrienne ‘s worries when Marissa managed to live past that benchmark. This was actually the first of several excruciating years of transfusions of blood and immunological diseases. She was unable to receive further blood transfusions when an improperly matched blood transfusion caused a severe reaction that led to the removal of Marissa’s gall bladder and temporary kidney failure. Have a look at Carolina Cell Therapy.
Luckily, however, a project sponsored by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), led by Don Kohn, MD at UCLA, began a clinical trial for Marissa. The aim of the project was to remove the patient’s bone marrow and fix the genetic defect in the stem cells that make up the blood. Then these cells can be reintroduced into the patient to create a new, healthy blood system. “The success of this clinical trial has given Adrienne hope that her daughter will be able to lead a healthy and pain-free life with the help of regenerative medicine.”
The University of Wisconsin-Madison Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine Center describes ‘Regenerative Medicine’ as ‘a new scientific and medical discipline focused on harnessing the power of stem cells and the regenerative capabilities of the body itself to restore damaged cells, tissues and organs to function.’
Stem cells that are found in newborn children’s umbilical cord blood have the capacity to renew and regenerate themselves. A stem cell can divide itself through the mitosis process to either become a specialised cell such as a brain cell or muscle cell, or remain a stem cell. They can also repair internal damage caused by any disease , disorder or trauma of any kind. Some of the ways in which these cells are used to cure disorders and diseases are stem cell transplantation, stem cell grafting and regenerative medicine.
Regenerative medicine covers a broad variety of research fields, such as biochemistry, anatomy, synthetic biology and immunology. In this area, scientists from these fields have carried out experiments and studies and established three methods of utilising regenerative medicine. There are cellular treatments, tissue engineering, and artificial organs and medical equipment.
Cellular Therapy-This technique is used to remove and accumulate cellular components, often adult stem cells, and then inject them into the site of injury, tissue damage or disease. These cells repair the damaged cells afterwards or regenerate new cells to replace the damaged cells.
Tissue Engineering-This strategy is linked to the production of biomaterials and uses a mixture of functional tissues , cells and scaffolds to engineer a completely functional organ that is then inserted instead of a compromised organ or tissue into the receiver ‘s body.
Medical Instruments and Artificial Organs-If a body organ dies, replacing it with a donor organ is the most effective form of care. Donor organs are not immediately accessible and, in those situations, may represent a hindrance. Even if a donor is available, before the transplant, he or she may need to take immunosuppressive drugs and these drugs are known to cause side effects. In certain cases, instead of transplantation, surgical devices that replicate the work of the failed organ can be used. The ventricular assist device (VAD) that is used in place of heart transplants is an instance of one such device.