S.P. Likitha Rao*1, Dr. Anil Middah1, Dr. Neeraj Tandan2
1OPJS University, Rajasthan, India
2SARC (Scientific and Applied Research Centre), Meerut, India
A B S T R A C T
Stem cells have the ability to differentiate into specific cell types. The two defining characteristics of a stem cell are perpetual self-renewal and the ability to differentiate into a specialized adult cell type. There are two major classes of stem cells: pluripotent that can become any cell in the adult body and multipotent those are restricted to becoming a more limited population of cells. Cell sources, characteristics, differentiation and therapeutic applications are discussed. Stem cells have great potential in tissue regeneration and repair but much still needs to be learned about their biology, manipulation and safety before their full therapeutic potential can be achieved. While the regeneration of a lost tissue is known to mankind for several years, it is only in the recent past that research on regenerative medicine/dentistry has gained momentum and eluded the dramatic yet scientific advancements in the field of molecular biology. The growing understanding of biological concepts in the regeneration of oral/dental tissues coupled with experiments on stem cells is likely to result in a paradigm shift in the therapeutic armamentarium of dental and oral diseases culminating in an intense search for “biological solutions to biological problems.” Stem cells have been successfully isolated from variety of human tissues including orofacial tissues. Initial evidence from pioneering studies has documented the likely breakthrough that stem cells offer for various life-threatening diseases that have so far defeated modern medical care. The evidence gathered so far has propelled many elegant studies exploring the role of stem cells and their manifold dental applications. This review takes you on a sojourn of the origin of stem cells, their properties, characteristics, current research, and their potential applications. It also focuses on the various challenges and barriers that we have to surmount before translating laboratory results to successful clinical applications heralding the dawn of regenerative dentistry.
Keywords: Stem cell, human body, Cell sources