Even though everyone appreciates the significance of medical research in progressing knowledge to solve healthcare-related problems, such as scarcity of organs for transplant and a lack of targeted diagnostic and treatment tools, what are some of the challenges that scholars must overcome? According to evidence-based findings published on Frontiers in Public Health, knowledge deficit, insufficient funding, and time constraints undermine medical students’ quest for scientific exploration. However, with the availability of sponsorship to fund academic work and easy accessibility of online information, you can effortlessly overcome most of the barriers mentioned above. 

However, unless you guarantee to safeguard the rights and welfare of humans in your research, you’ll never get approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB). What does this mean to advancing research in the medical sphere? In many instances, it’s unethical to use human beings as a research subject. For instance, if you want to develop an invasive intervention to reverse a genetic disorder in people, it will take many years to get approval unless the defect has become a pandemic. 

Thanks to the advent of stem cells, you don’t require a human being to research cells with specialized functions. According to an article published by the Mayo Clinic, stem cells can regenerate daughter cells when subjected to required optimum conditions, either in a laboratory (vitro) or body (vivo). Therefore, this article offers invaluable insights into the future of stem cell research.

What Are the Possibilities of Stem Cell Research in the Future?

Therapy for incurable neurodegenerative ailments

Whereas current interventions can delay the advancement of irreversible neurodegenerative defects such as Huntington’s disease (HD), Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and Parkinson’s disease (PD), they cannot offer long-lasting solutions. Fortunately, many experimental studies have shown stem cell therapy’s potential to eliminate the problem. Did you know that previous scientific explorations indicated that an adult’s central nervous system (CNS) lacks neurogenesis potency? 

Thanks to the discovery of neural stem cells (NSCs), such a claim no longer holds any weight in medical research. In AD’s preclinical rodent model, scientists established that NSCs can improve cognitive functions. Other researchers treated AD after developing a neural stem cell-based intervention for human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). In this case, skin punch biopsies necessitated the construction of iPSCs.

In spite of inconsistent results after using brain tissue from fetuses to treat persons diagnosed with PS, they show the potential of stem cells to cure the disease. 

Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation

Thanks to multipotent hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) transplantation, unlocking the future of regenerative medicine has been possible. Usually, umbilical cord blood, peripheral blood, and bone marrow are the primary sources of target cells. Depending on whether the cells come from a donor, an identical twin, or a patient’s cell, the procedure can be syngeneic, allogeneic, or autologous, respectively.

Usually, every hematopoietic lineage in blood, including platelets, white blood cells, and red blood cells, is attributable to HSCs. As such, any defect in the physiology of the hematopoietic system, like Anemia and leukemia, necessitates HSC transplantation. Even with these known benefits, their application in treatment is limited because of the following reasons:

  • A lack of feasible approach for collecting cells that can be transplantable.
  • The efficiency in transplantation is minimal because of the high possibility of immune reactions and viral contamination.
  • A low chance of getting a suitable antigen-matched donor.

Due to these drawbacks, doctors recommend this procedure to patients with life-threatening ailments only. However, it holds great potential to revolutionize stem cell therapy if college students pursue this area as their specialty. 

Stem cells as a target for pharmacological testing

Do you know the stages of human drug development? Whether you are a medical student or not, you’ve probably heard of clinical trials. Do you know that many drugs do not pass clinical trials? For instance, according to a 2021 article, South Africa suspended AstraZeneca after it showed low efficacy against the coronavirus. What does this mean?

Despite the drug passing human trials, it wasn’t effective. According to professional writers from research paper writing service FastEssay, who depend on scholarly sources from online databases to assist students with their papers quickly, the possible explanation concerns that people’s response to medicine depends on their inheritances. In particular, humans used in the trials for AstraZeneca lacked the genes of people from South Africa. 

With stem cells, it’s possible to expand the sample size as it will eliminate geographical barriers and fear of adverse effects. 

Cell-based therapies

Conventionally, when a patient needed a repair of damaged or destroyed tissue due to accidents or adverse effects of a disease, doctors opted to use animal cells, especially in situations where there were human supply deficits of organs. Even though this approach saved a lot of lives, it hardly benefited people from specific religions, especially Muslims. Thanks to stem cell research, it will be possible to develop organs and cells in a controlled laboratory environment. Patients with diabetes, neurodegenerative ailments, osteoarthritis, strokes, and macular degeneration will most likely benefit from cell-based therapies.

In the future, patients with cardiovascular complications would get the required help because of the possibilities of stem cells to generate heart muscle cells. 

What Are the Future Prospects of Stem Cell Research?

Disease modeling and drug development

Rather than waiting for the findings from the autopsy to understand the pathology, do you think stem cells can offer another way of studying? Yes, it’s possible, as scientists can develop disease models. Such an advancement necessitates an in-depth understanding of functional and/or structural changes, development, causes, and history of illnesses. As a consequence, scientists can develop new interventions.

For instance, research on molecular and cellular processes has been possible due to the generation of iPSCs from patients with certain ailments. AD, kidney disease, and diabetes are examples of diseases, which scientists can use stem cells to model.

Tissue engineering

Due to controversies and ethical concerns surrounding organ harvesting, scientists are exploring the possibility of developing functional, three-dimensional organs and tissues. Future prospects of this regenerative medicine concern enhancing patients’ well-being and minimizing overreliance on organ donors. The possibility of stem cells generating cartilage, blood vessels, and heart muscles is high. 

Even with these future possibilities of stem cell research revolutionizing regenerative medicine, scientists must convince pro-life and religious groups of reasons why the destruction of a human embryo is worth saving lives. However, some might argue that a single embryo might save more than one life, underscoring the application of utilitarianism – “the most good for the most people. If you are pursuing your higher learning education and considering this field as a specialty, you might want to consider knowing more about stem cells. You can do this by purchasing a research paper writing service from a reputable website. 

Categories: Health

Nicolas Desjardins

Hello everyone, I am the main writer for SIND Canada. I've been writing articles for more than 12 years and I like sharing my knowledge. I'm currently writing for many websites and newspapers. I always keep myself very informed to give you the best information. All my years as a computer scientist made me become an incredible researcher. You can contact me on our forum or by email at [email protected].