Types of Stem Cells

In general there are two types of stem cells, Hematopoietic Stem Cell (HSCs) and Mesenchymal Stem Cell (MSCs).

Hematopoietic Stem Cells (HSCs)
The stem cells that form blood and immune cells are known as HSCs. As its name suggests, HSCs are stem cells that have the ability to turn into all the blood cell types such as red blood cells and white blood cells. Due to this, HSCs are more suitable for use in treating blood related disorders such as Thalassemia Major, certain types of leukaemia and other inherited blood diseases. Processes that are used to obtain HSCs from the human body are bone marrow aspiration, apheresis, and cord blood collection at birth.

Mesenchymal Stem Cell (MSCs)
MSCs are human stem cells which have so far demonstrated the greatest ability to turn into other tissue types including the nerves, the heart muscle, blood vessels, cartilage, bone, collagen producing cells, fat tissue, insulin-producing cells, kidney cells, liver cells and skin. In addition, the MSCs are immunoprivileged which means that they will not be killed by the host’s immune defence cells and neither will they cause a reaction. MSCs do not just restore stem cells but also salvage and revive any weak stem cells in the host.