Given their unique regenerative abilities stem cells offer new potential for treating painful symptoms, in the musculoskeletal system.
Much work is being continually investigated in the laboratory and clinically, to further enhance the use of these cells for cell-based therapies to treat disease.
This is creating a brand new genre of regenerative or reparative medicine being pioneered today.
Stem cells have the remarkable potential to develop into many different cell types in the body during early life and growth. In addition, in many tissues with the support of growth factors, they serve as a sort of internal repair system by dividing, essentially without limit, to replenish other cells.
When a stem cell divides each new cell has the potential, either to remain a stem cell, or become another type of cell with a more specialised function, such as a cartilage cell, a bone cell or a tissue cell.