How Stem Cell Researchers Use AI to Help Improve Regenerative Medicine

January 26, 2021

Many doctors dream of a day when patients will be able to donate a few healthy adult cells to grow a cure for their particular ailment. Using AI in conjunction with regenerative medicine, researchers think this dream is close to reality. 

This type of personalized treatment will be attuned to the patient’s genetic makeup. To accomplish this dream, scientists are manipulating stem cells to engineer tissue, cells, and organs. 

Regenerative medicine seems like something straight out of a science fiction novel, but AI helps make it a reality. 

What Is Regenerative Medicine?

Even though Mary Shelley’s Doctor Frankenstein and his sewn-together creation are fiction, the history of regenerative medicine is fascinating.¹

This research-heavy branch includes tissue engineering and molecular biological procedures to replace, reengineer, or grow other cells.² The field seeks to give humanity the tools to mimic the body’s repair procedures and fix or replace damaged parts. 

Scientists have manipulated stem cells into multiplying in the right conditions, creating many cells called daughter cells. These new cells can become stem cells for self-renewal, or become wholly different types of cells for differentiation. 

One of the significant issues any advances in regenerative medicine can solve is the shortage of organs for waiting donors. Since the medical response uses resources from the patient’s own body, there is no waiting period.

Additionally, organ rejection becomes quite rare if the organ the patient receives is made from their own cells. If using one’s cells becomes a possibility, then the chances of organ rejection are practically eliminated. 

One of the most promising avenues of regenerative medicine is stem cells, particularly human cells that can change into various cells. These cells are known as the building blocks of the human body. There are two distinct stem cells in the body: adult stem cells and embryonic stem cells. 

Adult Stem Cells_BioStem Technology

What Are Adult Stem Cells?

Within this category, there are two different groups: those that are found in individual organs or systems and induced pluripotent cells.³

• Adult stem cells live in various organs, but unfortunately, they’re rare. They’re usually located in the brain, skin, or bone marrow. These usually only become one type of cell, meaning if you use a bone marrow stem cell, it will most likely change into a bone marrow cell. 

• Induced pluripotent stem cells are manipulated to resemble umbilical or placental material. Stem cells that imitate embryonic stem cells can change into virtually any other type of cell. Now that scientists can influence adult stem cells to mimic embryonic stem cells, many new areas are open to scientific exploration. 

What Are Embryonic Stem Cells?

Embryonic Stem Cells_BioStem Technology

When a human embryo is three to five days old, it is called a blastocyst and is made of 150 cells.⁴ These cells are quite remarkable because they are pluripotent and can change into many different cell types. 

The debate around whether using embryonic stem cells is ethical or not rages on, so medical researchers have turned to the less problematic induced pluripotent stem cells like hematopoietic stem cells, which are stem cells found in the bloodstream. 

The trick that scientists have been trying to figure out is how to engineer these stem cells to make particular cells. Many parameters have to be met; it is incredibly difficult for humans to manipulate the stem cell for a specific outcome. However, with AI, the challenge is not impossible. 

AI and Regenerative Medicine

The induced pluripotent cells are difficult to manipulate, but scientists are learning to use AI to overcome these difficulties. 

Through a process called deep learning, machines have been able to produce high-quality stem cells.⁵ AI programmers can easily replicate the programs by which the AI accumulates the expertise and information into other devices. 

AI uploaded with the amassed experience and knowledge can narrow the stem cell parameters, meaning that using AI to influence stem cells produces excellent results. 

These breakthroughs open doors to a wide variety of useful treatments, from mass-produced personalized cells to RHEO, the amniotic fluid that treats chronic inflammation and more. 

Like BioStem Technologies, companies with specialized technology are making what once seemed like a sci-fi dream into a reality. 

The Final Word

The inception of using stem cells to regenerate tissue was an incredible discovery that catapulted medical research into the future. Using AI, scientists and researchers have focused the process even more. 

The day when your doctor can create a cure for your ailment from your blood cells is not far off, and companies like BioStem Life Sciences will be there. 

Citations:

(1) Shelley, M. W. (1823). Frankenstein, or, The Modern Prometheus. New York: New American Library.

(2) Henderson, S. (2019, December 02). “Stem Cells and AI: Better Together.” Retrieved September 24, 2020, from https://www.nist.gov/news-events/news/2019/11/stem-cells-and-ai-better-together

(3) Cunningham, L., & Freeborn, D. (2020). “What Are Stem Cells?” Retrieved September 24, 2020, from https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=160

(4) Frequently asked questions about stem cell research. (2019, June 08). Retrieved September 24, 2020, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/bone-marrow-transplant/in-depth/stem-cells/art-20048117

(5) Waisman, A., et al. (2019, April 9). “Deep Learning Neural Networks Highly Predict Very Early Onset of Pluripotent Stem Cell Differentiation.” Retrieved September 24, 2020, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6449871/

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