Stem Cells – ‘Mother Cells’
Stem Cells are the ‘master cells’ of the body. They are unspecialized cells that can become any other type of cells in the body.
Stem cells have the unique ability to differentiate into a variety of cells. When a stem cell divides, each new cell has the potential to either remain a stem cell or become another type of cell with a more specialized function – such as a muscle cell, a red blood cell or a nerve cell, etc.
Stem cells are distinguished from other cell types by two important characteristics. Firstly, they are unspecialized cells capable of renewing themselves through cell division.
Secondly, under certain physiologic or experimental conditions, they can be induced to become tissue or organ-specific cells with special functions.
Unique characteristic features of Stem Cells are
- Homing: Travel to the site of damage where regeneration is required
- Engraftment: Settle down & grow & multiply
- Plasticity: Potential to change into other cells