We hear more and more talk and it seems that the future of medicine may be all in these stem cells can regenerate organs and tissues. But what are they? And what are they?

The term stem has a double origin: it derives from the greek stamis, indicating the mast of a ship, and from Latin stamen, which is the thread of the warp of the fabric. In English, the verb to stem it means to arise, and it is perhaps the most appropriate meaning. Stem cells are undifferentiated cells, which is not yet specialized to become the components of a given organ or tissue. Their role is to replace cells that die naturally or are damaged. To perform this task, however, the cells must specialize with a process called cell differentiation. cells that are transformed stem cells are able to transform into different body tissues, for example in skin cells, or nerve, blood, etc.


Adult stem cells can be taken from the patient himself, grown in the laboratory and then re-implanted in the body, as it is important in the treatment of genetic diseases. Or they can be donated by a healthy person or a sick person. care what stem cells are stem cells currently used to treat a number of important diseases, the cells used are those from adult organisms or from the blood of the umbilical cord, both for ethical issues for practical results. Among adult cells most used are those hematopoietic, namely those found in bone marrow and that are capable of giving rise to all the blood cells (white blood cells and red). These are mainly used in the treatment of certain cancers of the blood such as leukemias and lymphomas, and for the same diseases are also used stem cells from the umbilical cord.

The cells of the cornea, the outer membrane of the eye, are used instead to treat some damage to the cornea itself. The skin stem, instead, are used to treat burns. In the future, scientists are focusing on stem cell research, because they are convinced that in the future may also treat diseases of the nervous system such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury, such as stroke or cardiovascular. Such studies are at an early stage that will require many years before coming to the possibilities of use for these diseases.