Multipotent stem cells have the ability to turn into a number of different cells in the body, making them one of the most versatile solutions in regenerative medicine. They are also characterized by their capacity for self-renewal. Here, we take a look at their current applications, as well as their benefits.
What Makes Multipotent Stem Cells Unique?
To understand the distinguishing features of multipotent stem cells, we must first look at the different types of stem cells. There are three main classifications for the varying degrees of stem cell flexibility:
- Totipotent: These cells can turn into any cell in the body and are only found within the first couple of cell divisions following the fertilization of a female egg by a male sperm.
- Pluripotent: During embryonic development, totipotent cells specialize into pluripotent cells. They can give rise to all cells in the human body but aren’t quite as flexible as totipotent cells.
- Multipotent: Finally, pluripotent stem cells specialize into multipotent stem cells, which have been found in cord blood, cord tissue, adipose tissue, cardiac cells, bone marrow, and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs).
What Are Multipotent Stem Cells Used for?
Not only are multipotent stem cells able to renew themselves almost indefinitely, their ability to become any other cell makes them a powerful agent in treating patients with tissue damage. From knees to other joints and even the gastrointestinal tract, there are many sites in the body where compromised tissue can benefit tremendously from stem cells. They can even help arthritis sufferers and individuals with tendonitis. Because stem cells can also replenish dying or damaged tissue of specialized cell types, multipotent stem cells can also benefit individuals with chronic illnesses such as COPD, multiple sclerosis (MS), and Parkinson’s disease.
What Are the Benefits of Multipotent Stem Cells?
Multipotent stem cells are advantageous because they can be sourced from a number of locations, including the Wharton’s Jelly which lines umbilical cord vessels, as well as fat tissue (adipose stem cells) and bone marrow aspirate. These cells can then be delivered via non-invasive regenerative therapy to replace damaged cells with new ones, which have the ability to help increase energy and control symptoms in chronic conditions. The treatment can also potentially spur healthy tissue development in musculoskeletal injuries, and when injected directly into the joint, it has the potential to promote healing of ligaments, tendons, and cartilage to help return functionality and in some cases could delay the need for joint replacement.