AI and Stem Cells: An exciting future for healthcare

AI based advances can add a new dimension for stem cell based therapies

Imagine being in need of medical care that is followed by a healthcare practitioner runs diagnostic tests, takes a tissue sample from your body consisting healthy cells and uses them to build a cure for your condition. Ostensibly, using your own body’s cells means that the therapy is well-suited for your body and genes. Such a utopian scenario is called ‘regenerative medicine’ and has far-reaching implications for healthcare. Today, owing to certain advances, it is likely to be a reality in the near future. The biggest obstacle to ‘regenerative medicine’ are the complexities involved in research.

Ostensibly, AI based advances in regenerative medicine are playing a critical role in breaking down this complexity. Based on insights from Forbes, let’s take a closer look at how regenerative medicine fuelled by AI shall lead to radically better healthcare outcomes.

Understand cellular therapies

Before we delve deeper into how cell-based therapies work there is a need to understand the purpose of stem cells better. The bone marrow produces stem cells, which are mother cells or blank cells. When bone marrow stem cells are discharged, they can go to any organ or tissue in the body and convert into cells of that tissue. The body’s repair system is made up of stem cells.

The discovery of this activity has led scientists on a lengthy quest to figure out how to employ stem cells to treat illnesses caused by cellular loss. Diabetes and age-related degenerative disorders are all linked to the loss of a certain cell type or cellular function. Natural substances, present In the body, have also been shown to have the capacity to promote the release of stem cells from the bone marrow, according to research conducted over the previous several decades. These stem cells subsequently enter the circulation, where they can promote healing and regeneration by travelling to areas of cell lack or damage in the body. Endogenous Stem Cell Mobilization is the name given to this procedure (ESCM). Specific illnesses of the endocrine system, muscles, kidneys, and respiratory systems can all be treated using stem cells.

But, where does AI factor in when it comes to cellular therapies? How can it lead to radical advances in stem cell research?

Breaking down the complexity

On closer inspection, there are a few areas where AI has aided stem cell research and regenerative medicine significantly.

The intricacy of the available data has continuously hampered scientists’ ability to deliver on the full promise of regenerative medicine. Scientists can difficult to predict what cells would do in any particular treatment circumstance since cells are so distinct from one another. Medical therapy may go wrong in a million different ways, according to scientists. Most AI specialists feel that wherever there is an issue with data analysis and predictive analysis, AI can give a solution in practically every industry.

Carl Simon, a scientist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and Nicholas Schaub recently put this theory to the test by using Deep Neural Networks (DNN), an AI tool, to analyse data from their eye cell tests. Their study focused on the causes and treatments for age-related macular degeneration. The results were astounding: out of 36 forecasts, AI produced just one inaccurate prediction concerning cell changes. From annotated photos of cells, their algorithm learnt how to anticipate cell function in various circumstances and conditions. It would soon be able to quickly examine photos of lab-grown eye tissues and label them as excellent or harmful. This discovery has sparked excitement in the field of stem cell research.

Essentially, AI will aid in the selection of the proper sort of stem cells and the best cells within that stem cell population for each individual, as well as the therapy to improve stem cell-based tissue healing. AI has already depicted its prowess in vaccine research during the pandemic, and cellular therapies appear to be the next bastion where AI can bring a paradigm shift. AI, according to researchers, can assist speed up the translation of regenerative medicine into clinical practise by predicting cell activity in various contexts. As a result, it might theoretically be utilised to imitate a human environment. Researchers will be able to obtain more detailed information more quickly as a result of this.

The possibilities for stem cell research outcomes coupled with AI are certainly limitless. In time perhaps, we could even leverage cellular therapies for healthier ageing or even reverse the ageing process altogether. For now, AI heralds a new age for significantly better healthcare outcomes with cellular therapies.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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