Stem cells and regenerative medicine are going to have big future impact across a broad spectrum of health problems, but there are specific ways they may be of particular positive impact for our men and women in service.
Here on Memorial Day I’ve focused on 5 main areas where I predict that stem cells and regenerative medicine will help our troops in the future in the biggest ways and included key links. Research on stem cell military applications has really advanced in the past 5-10 years.
- Blood. Artificial blood made from stem cells in the lab seems like it is more a question of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’. See this recent story: “Human blood stem cells grown in the lab for the first time.” Stem cell-grown blood could help troops in general and also even during battle when they are bleeding and could die from blood loss. It’s not just whole blood here either, but also potentially stem cell-produced plasma, RBCs, and platelets. Immunomodulation may also help our troops.
- Skin. Spray on skin stem cells. Here’s a recent story: “Experimental SkinGun heals burns using stem cells.” Severe damage to skin including from burns is a relatively common occurrence in battle. Stem cell-grown skin could aid our troops in their recovery.
- Body parts. Stem cells may be able to Fix or replace specific body parts injured in battle including arms, legs, digits, and other parts such as genitals.
- Bone. Serious bone injuries such as those sustained in battle are difficult to treat. They often are not the kind of fractures that can simply fix themselves with a cast. Stem cells have real potential for orthopedic applications involving bones and joint injuries.
- Face. Serious facial and head injuries can be devastating. Regenerative medicine has concrete potential in this area.
There is even an Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine doing research in these kinds of areas.
This post is dedicated to our men and women in service.