Stem cells play a crucial part in repairing the human body by repairing damaged organs. These stemcells cannot repair tissue or organs when they cannot reach them in sufficient quantity.
The brains & eyes are a few examples of these hard to reach locations.
Basically there are 3 variables at work:
- Free amount of stemcells in the blood.
- The flow rate of the blood
- How hard is it to reach the target location (eg; the organ we want to repair).
Previously researchers tried to implant stemcells directly in the target location, and this could still be an option for those hard to reach places , but now a group of researchers are trying to expand the pool of stemcells for lung growth and repair. They underscore that the challenge lies in:
“Identifying the progenitors of a tissue and, in the case of the lung, understanding the complex interactions lung progenitors have with the unique environment of an air-liquid interphase, proximal and distal airways, the intricate vascular tree, and the innate immune response.”
This basically says that they have difficulties in determining if the expanded pool of stem cells is reaching the lung area and is going to specialize into an already subset of specialized cells called progenitor cells. And that more insight is required in how & why the progenitor cells not always develop into lung cells?
So there is are more variables:
- How easy is it to 'morph' into a progenitor cells (specialized cell)?
- Can the new cell be supported? (eg; can fresh blood reach the new cell).
For certain there is more research required on these 5 variables and how these can be influenced.