- Conference date: 17–21 May 2009
- Location: Cairo (Egypt)
Stem cells are characterized by the qualities of self‐renewal, long term viability, and the ability to differentiate into various cell types. Historically, stem cells have been isolated from the inner cell mass of blastocysts and harvesting these cells resulted in the death of the embryo leading to religious, political and ethical issues. The identification and subsequent isolation of adult stem cells from bone marrow stroma have been welcomed as an alternate source for stem cells. The clinical use of Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) presented problems such as limited cell number, pain and morbidity upon isolation. Adipose tissue is derived from the mesenchyme, is easily isolated, a reliable source of stem cells and able to differentiate into different cell types including smooth muscle. Over the past few years, the identification and characterization of stem cells has led the potential use of these cells as a promising alternative to cell replacement therapy. Smooth muscle is a major component of human tissues and is essential for the normal functioning of many different organs. Low intensity laser irradiation has been shown to increase viability, protein expression and migration of stem cells in vitro, and to stimulate proliferation of various types of stem cells. In addition, the use of laser irradiation to stimulate differentiation in the absence of growth factors has also been demonstrated in normal human neural progenitor cells (NHNPCs) in vitro where NHNPCs are not only capable of being sustained by light in the absence of growth factors, but that they are also able to differentiate normally as assessed by neurite formation. Our work has focused on the ability of laser irradiation to proliferate adipose derived stem cells (ADSCs), maintain ADSC character and increase the rate and maintenance of differentiation of ADSCs into smooth muscle and skin fibroblast cells. Current studies are also investigating the effect of different irradiation wavelengths and fluences on ADSC viability and proliferation. This paper reviews the development of MSCs as potential therapeutic interventions such as autologous grafts as well as the contribution of low intensity laser irradiation on the maintenance of these cells.
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