Era to Diagnose and Cure

Sujatha Ramasamy

Scientist-B, Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC)
New Delhi, India. Correspondence: sujatha@tifac.org


 

The current life style and food habits make us more prone to diseases. The realization that the number of diseases inflicting human has increased manifold over the years, would be alarming. Many diseases have disappeared, few still persists and a lot more in the queue, certainty unknown.

This era of scientific advancement with latest technologies paves a way ahead to cure most of the dreadful diseases and eradicate the earlier ones. The two main technologies which would help to heal and cure most of the diseases would be Stem cells and Tissue Engineering. They give a promising approach to several unmet medical conditions and shocks.

A great excitement exists in the medical research for Stem cells. In other words it is a medical marvel for its application in regenerative medicine. The critical role of stem cell in normal growth and development and its property of self renewal by replacing and repairing damaged tissues explain why scientists are interested in them. The three major types of stem cells are Embryonic Stem & Germ cells, Adult Stem cells and Umbilical cord Stem cells. They have the potential to differentiate into any of the cell types found in an adult body. Based on their nature of differentiation, they are called as Pluripotent, totipotent and multipotent.

Use of a combination of cells, engineering materials and suitable biochemical factors to improve or replace biological functions is defined as Tissue engineering. Regenerative medicine helps in natural healing process where emphasis on use of stem cell to produce tissues. Tissue engineering facilitates growing tissue and organs in the laboratory and later implanting them in the body, when the body cannot heal itself.

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 Understanding the concepts within the science of Stem cell and Tissue Engineering would unfold the strategy to learn about how diseases may be prevented and how the damages caused by them can be repaired. The various applications of both Stem cell and Tissue Engineering can be used in imparting treatment for heart disease, diabetes, stroke, neurological disorders like parkinsons and alzheimer’s, cancer, spinal cord injury, blood related disease, baldness, missing tooth,  deafness, vision Impairment, orthopaedics, wound healing etc and to some extent, cases of a few types of infertility.

In spite of the enormous applications, actual usage of these technologies is limited due to the associated ethical issues or due to lack of research. It would be rewarding for mankind, if more research is carried out in this field.

On a lighter note, why not stay healthy? Instead of searching for hitech technologies in medical field to cure one’s diseases later, here are a few tips for a stay-fit regime: exclusive time for exercise, sound sleep, adequate intake of water, fruits and veggies, stay away from high calorie foods and spend quality time for grooming yourself and your family.

References:

  1. http://www.healblog.net/the-promise-of-personalized-stem-cells
  2. http://www.zmescience.com/science/biology/embryonic-stem-cell-15112011/

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