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Cheryl Mele Publishes Article on the Power of Stem Cells for Pediatric Disorders

December 19, 2013

Stem cell research has been on the forefront of ethical debates for years, but there is no denying the power and uniqueness of the stem cell. Cheryl Mele, an assistant clinical professor in the Division of Graduate Nursing, recently published an article titled, “Tissue Engineering with Stem Cells: An Innovative Technological Treatment in Pediatrics Disorders,” in The Journal of Pediatric Nursing. In the article, she explores the potential that stem cell tissue engineering could have on treating pediatric disorders and examines the types of stem cells that are used for tissue regeneration.

 “Stem cells originate from two primary sources, adult stem cells (non-embryonic) or embryonic cells.” Non-embryonic cells can originate from various existing parts of the body such as the skin, brain, bone marrow and liver. These types of cells have the potential to differentiate into a variety of cell forms. She also discusses the progenitor cells, cells that “differentiate into many cell types but are unable to replicate indefinitely.”  Lastly, Mele writes about the role of embryonic stem cells. “Embryonic stem cells (ESCs), in contrast to adult stem cells are able to divide indefinitely and can differentiate into any tissue of the body, making ESCs an exceptional cell type.”

Mele believes that tissue engineering may play an important role in the treatment of conditions like congenital heart disease and gastrointestinal disorders. “The past decade imparted comprehension of stem cell biology and applications in various pediatric disorders.  Although the challenge of how to assemble a three-dimensional scaffold tissue from stem cells remains unperfected; some organ regeneration has been quite successful.”