At one point, stem cell therapy research was almost an afterthought in the medical community. It was an interesting but controversial idea that always had many wondering how this new science could survive in a world often driven by funding and steered by politics.
As an example, look at how long it took for stem cell research to advance. In 1981, Martin Evans first discovered embryonic stem cells in mice. Nearly 20 years later, scientists figured out how to grow human embryonic stem cells. Then, in 2001, the Bush administration abruptly halted most of the federal funding for stem cell research involving human embryos. Finally, in 2009, the industry got a break when President Barack Obama removed the Bush administration's restrictions.
"Scientists have always pushed the boundaries of stem cell research, and it's finally paying off."
If you became tired reading that, imagine what it feels like working in the industry. Scientists have always pushed the boundaries of stem cell research, and it's finally paying off. According to a new report by BCC Research, the global stem cell market will grow by roughly $6 billion in the next five years thanks to new scientific enhancements.
"Recent technical advances in the field have enabled the in vitro generation of complex structures resembling whole organs, termed 'organoids,'" said BCC Research analyst Paul Evers, according to a press release. "Most approaches use three-dimensional (3-D) culture systems that allow stem cell-derived or tissue progenitor cells to self-organize into 3-D structures. Since organoids can be grown from human stem cells and from patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells, they create significant prospects for modeling development and diseases, for toxicology and drug discovery studies, and in the field of regenerative medicine."
Along with the technological feats scientists have been able to reach, the field continues to grow exponentially because many patients are seeing it as a viable alternative to invasive surgery. With stem cell therapy, doctors can essentially repair a damaged area of the body with a person's own cells.
Stem cells have the unique ability to transform into other cells. Unlike in the late 1990s, scientists can now extract these cells from various areas of a person's body such as dental pulp, skin, hair follicles, bone marrow and skeletal muscles. From there, cells make important decisions, with a nudge from scientists, on whether to remain stem cells or turn into other types of cells such as brain, muscle, or red and white blood types.
If you would like to learn more information on stem cell treatments contact Longevity and Stem Cell Centre of Houston.