Why Stem Cells?
Why Stem Cells?
With research taking huge strides (in terms of diseases it can treat and advances in technology to aid research being utilised), it seems new discoveries about this promising research are gathering momentum. While stem cell research isn’t new, it is starting to live up to its expectations while still holding lots more promise with stones still unturned that scientists are working towards.
For parents, one of the most intriguing questions is how can you take advantage of this promising research? ‘Which stem cells should I store?’ is a question filled with options from different companies promoting their service over others. How to choose which type of stem cell banking is right for you and your child with so many options out there takes time and research and while there are different types of stem cells that you can bank (and these can be obtained from different sources) – the most popular is cord blood banking and dental pulp banking.
Why stem cells?
Stem cells can change into different cell types of cells (given the right prompt from scientists). Through this process, they can then be used to aid in the reproduction and healing of injured or damaged tissue. Imagine having a ‘blank slate’ that you can turn into, for example, an important organ – this is what stem cells can do. These are just two of the reasons why scientists and doctors are so excited about stem cells and the potential they hold.
The brilliant aspect of stem cells and the main reason scientists are so excited is that they can be changed or grown into nearly any human cell. This helps in aiding in the treatment of certain diseases your children may encounter. With so many potential stem cell treatments, there is still a lot left to learn about stem cells and the promise they hold – while there are a wide variety of treatments discovered so far.
Cord blood banking or dental pulp banking?
When a baby is born, there is an option to take blood from their umbilical cord (that contains a rich source of stem cells) and stored (in a frozen state) in a private bank ready for extraction should it be needed. These stem cells are Hematopoietic Progenitor Cells (HPCs).
HPCs can be used in the treatment of childhood diseases such as leukaemia, sickle cell disease, and lymphoma by replacing current cells in the body with ‘unharmed’ cells. HPCs are commonly found in cord blood.
While ‘cord blood banking’ is a familiar term, ‘dental pulp banking’ is not as well known; yet it is also a choice for parents. Found in the tooth, dental pulp holds Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs).
MSCs may have the potential to be transformed into other cells including cardiac, muscle, bone, cartilage, nerve, and fat tissue. This is one of the reasons BioEden became the world’s first dedicated stem cell bank – we firmly believe that MSCs hold the key to treating a wide range of conditions and will be vital for medical research.
Unlike cord blood, which must be collected in the minutes after birth, tooth stem cells can be collected almost every time a baby tooth falls out. This has a lot of benefits to it – you not having to panic around the time of birth worrying about collecting cord blood is one of them. To add to this, MSCs are able to multiply and be populated to reach a significant count for treatment in a lab. With cord blood, the number of stem cells is static.
Baby teeth are rich repositories of stem-cells and give a significantly greater potential for future healthcare than cord blood Professor John Hunt, 2009
Because of this small sample of scientific knowledge, alone parents all over the world are investing in their child’s future by storing their tooth cells with BioEden. While it sounds like we’re replacing the tooth fairy, in reality, we’re aiding her by keeping the cells in the teeth safe for future use should it be needed.