A major difficulty with stem cell therapy is to identify stem cells within an actual tissue culture. Cultures contain many different cells and it is a challenge to identify specific cell types. When the stem cells are identified and then isolated from tissues, the appropriate solutions must be created to trigger these cells to develop into the desired cell types.
Finally, there are additional issues even when cells are identified, isolated and grown. The new cells require implantation in a person and they must then essentially learn how to effectively function alongside a person’s own tissues. For instance, if you imagine a cardiac cell being implanted, think about the fact that it may not beat with the same rhythm of a person’s heart cells and is thus ineffective. A person’s immune system may also recognize the transplanted cells as foreign bodies and this can trigger an immune reaction that results in rejection of the new cells.
The potential of stem cell therapy to ease human suffering and dramatically affect disease has motivated scientists to research ways of enhancing current stem cell therapies and develop new ones. Stem cell therapy remains a new science but the results have thus far been impressive enough that scientists are eagerly studying ways to treat the many diseases that you or a loved one may suffer from one day.