Most of us have heard of stem cells and their incredible potential to cure diseases and degenerative conditions. Stem cells are unique because they have the ability to differentiate into any type of cell, meaning that stem cell treatment can be theoretically used to cure any number of diseases. However, there are many different types of stem cells, and in the development of treatments such as platelet rich plasma therapy, it is important to know which type of stem cell will be most effective for a specific disease. Stem cells differ in terms of their regenerative capacities based on where they can be found. Embryonic stem cells, for instance, are only found in the embryo, but can differentiate into any type of cell. However, stem cells found in adult tissue are more restricted in terms of the types of cells they can replicate. By understanding the diverse potential of differing stem cells, researchers can more easily develop effective stem cell treatment protocols.
Written by Dr. Joseph Purita, founder of The Institute of Regenerative and Molecular Orthopedics and a pioneer in the use of the laser in orthopedic surgery.