What Are Stem Cells?

I am sure you have been hearing their name a lot. Stem cells are very beneficial and in this article we explain why!

Keep on reading!

For centuries scientists knew that some animals can regenerate lost parts of their body and humans actually share this skill. Although we can not replace a lost leg or finger, our bodies normally regenerate blood, skin and other tissues.

The identity of these powerful cells ,that allow us to regenerate some tissues, was revealed by the experiments performed in the bone marrow during the decade of 1950, these experiments confirmed the existence of stem cells.

Let’s see in detail what are these stem cells and how we can use them in medicine and dentistry.

What are the stem cells?

Stem cells are pluripotent cells that have the ability to regenerate and differentiate into various specialized cell types such as nerve cells, blood cells, etc.

Stem cell sources are:

  1. The embryo at the blastocyst stage.
  2. The cord blood.
  3. Some adult tissues such as bone marrow, blood, fat tissue, and the pulp of the teeth.

Regarding the dental pulp, stem cells are present in all teeth, but the special emphasis has been given to deciduous teeth of children aged 6-12 years and adult wisdom teeth.

What are the types of stem cells of the dental pulp?

The dental pulp encounter 5 different types of stem cells:

  1. Osteoblasts-responsible for creating bone.
  2. Chondroblasts-responsible for producing cartilage.
  3. Fat cells are responsible for the formation of adipose tissue.
  4. Odontoblasts-responsible for creating the dentin and pulp of the teeth.
  5. Mesenchymal cells with multiple differentiation potential.

Athina Tsiorva

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