What are stem cells?
Every cell in the human body can be traced back to a fertilized egg that came into existence from the union of an egg and sperm.
There are over 200 different types of cells in the body that evolve from an early embryo’s identical, undifferentiated stem cells. During early development, as well as later in life, various types of stem cells give rise to differentiated cells that carry out the specific functions of the body, such as skin, blood, muscle, and nerve cells1.
Over the past two decades, scientists researching stem cell health have been gradually deciphering the processes by which undifferentiated stem cells become the many specialized cell types in the body.
Stem cells can regenerate themselves and produce specialized cell types. This property makes stem cells appealing for scientists seeking to create medical treatments that are used for replacing lost or damaged cells.
Collecting and preserving healthy stem cells early will ensure our clients access to many of today’s and tomorrow’s stem cell therapies and the option of treating diseases and regenerating tissues and organs with their own stem cells. For example, studies are now underway where doctors expect to be able to treat patients within ten days of a heart attack with stem cells to regenerate heart muscle, increase heart vascularity and improve electrical function based on clinical trial data.
For more information, see ClinicalTrials.gov »
When are adult stem cells produced?
After we are born, stem cells continue to be produced in bone marrow and circulate naturally throughout our blood stream, tissues and organs – these cells are considered to be Adult Stem Cells (ASC). The principal difference age makes is in the quality of the stem cells circulating in our blood. Younger cells are more likely to be free of oxidative damage and mutations.
We continue to produce stem cells throughout our lives at a steady state. As we reach our 60s and 70s the number of cells produced begins to diminish. When we are in our 80s and older, stem cell production is significantly reduced.