Stem Cells to Cure Intestinal Infection in Newborns
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Scientists from University College London’s Institute of Child Health have concluded that an injection of stem cells taken from amniotic fluid, the protective liquid contained in the amniotic sac of a pregnant female, may help protect newborns from intestinal damage caused by a condition known as Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC), where severe inflammation destroys tissues of the intestine.
The discovery of the healing facets of stem cells present in humans was a path-breaking development for medical science as many threatening diseases can now be treated with use of these stem cells. Stem cells are biological cells present in each multi-cellular organism. These cells can regenerate themselves through mitosis and thus help repair key components of the human body. Till date, stem cells have been used for different therapies, such as bone marrow transplant and treatment of leukaemia.
There are no medical treatments available to treat NEC apart from surgery, except that it leads to intestinal failure and invites complications due to shortening of the bowel. This new technique, if proven successful, can help countless newborns to lead healthy lives without invasive surgeries.