Umbilical cord blood is a rich source of stem cells. These cells are the specialized cells that are able to differentiate into other types of cells. They also have the ability to replace affected cells with new cells. For this reason, cord blood stem cells have been used in many transplants, where patients require regrowth of cells by replacing the affected ones. In this article, we will see how stem cells are being used to treat various lung and kidney diseases.
Earlier researches have shown successful transplants by differentiating stem cells into brain cells, blood cells or skin cells. Now the scientists at the University of Minnesota have shown how to differentiate cord blood stem cells into lung cells.
By conducting the transplant with cord blood stem cells, the researchers at the University of Minnesota were able to treat the airway in lungs, damaged after an injury. This was a major breakthrough in the history of medical research and would be helpful to detect and understand different types of lung diseases. Also, the scientists would now have the ability to test different drugs to treat the diseases and measure their effects on patients.
The research showed that these cells were also helpful to treat lung diseases like cystic fibrosis in babies with their own cord blood stem cells. Apart from that, the new development in the field of stem cells also ensures better understanding in lung diseases and different stages of lung development.
A new research further showed the importance of cord blood stem cells in treating kidney related diseases. According to the findings, the mesenchymal stem cells, which are derived from full-term umbilical cord blood, have the ability to repair kidney tissues by developing bone and cartilage. A team of researchers in Italy conducted a research on a mice model to treat renal failure. This condition occurs when kidneys cannot remove urine and waste. The mice were treated with cord blood mesenchymal stem cells. After the transplant, the scientists had seen improvements in their kidney functions.
This ensures faster recovery from kidney problems, which are resulted from tissue damage. With this study, patients suffering from acute kidney related diseases, are hopeful to recover and relive a normal life. However more studies are required to come to a full-proof solution to treat kidney diseases in humans with mesenchymal stem cells.
Lupus is an inflammatory disease that damages our joints, skin, and kidneys. It may also be life-threatening once it affects the kidneys. New studies proved that stem cells are useful to treat severe lupus. Northwestern Hospital in Chicago conducted a study involving 50 patients with lupus. All of them went through stem cells transplants. After treatment, 25 patients got rid of the disease after five years while 84% of them survived from the condition.
Cord blood stem cells have the potential to treat many acute diseases, which did not have any proper treatments before. However, more and more researchers are needed to understand the diseases and how they spread and affect. Only then the scientists will be able to come to the ultimate solution.