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  • Tolgay Şatana

Cellular Regeneration Therapies

In pursuit of immortality, Gilgamesh is that the brutal real death he encounters in search of the herb of immortality cannot be stopped. Humanity, which has been pursuing immortality like Gilgamesh for thousands of years, is still in pursuit of the healing it has lost to the snake. The discipline of medicine, on the other hand, ironically symbolizes the snake, exalted as it cures the diseases that cause death. While humanity survived by hoping for empirical treatments was protected against diseases, on the other hand, it was inevitable that it was defeated by aging and death.

Today, local physicians define death as a chromosomal program that develops at the cellular level with the concept of “apoptosis” and even genetically triggered it, creating the concept of stopping aging. It’s like everyone had a biological clock that suddenly all cells were ordered to die. There must have been a grass that stopped this clock. Speaking of the cell, the chromosomal structure is detailed. DNA and ribosomes encode, progenitors chase the clock. The result is hopeless for now. But genetic engineering was born, and tissue engineers were also waiting at the door. The cure for immortality would be found.

Genetic science and human genetic mapping, cloning made the masses believe that the utopian dreams in the Jules Verne novels were real. So much so that science fiction scenarios are almost the most interesting ones; There were those who evoked immortality and demonstrated the convincing and possible results of recent scientific advances. The experiments for the unethical scenarios of the rich people who cloned themselves in the movie Ada are based on a sheep named Dolly, which was cloned in 1996.

The idea that humanity could replicate itself, and even the idea that this copy could be perfect, created another nightmare that was more terrifying than the serpent in seeking immortality. In Hollywood scenarios, the “terminator” icon was immediately cloned, in Galactica the Cylons were conceived as clones of common intelligence, and even an esoteric god was created with the Avatar. So much so that the opinion of the public began to be inaccessible, expensive, imaginary and even immoral treatments. Cellular therapies are banned and restricted in many countries.

In reality, what was done in the health field was not very inaccessible. Genetics and tissue engineering continued to evolve rapidly. Masses circulating between us in multiple babies that have become commonplace like IVF (invitro fertilization = in vitro fertilization) technology, those who come back to life with stem cells taken from bone marrow, and those who live with their sibling’s organs have always been among us. Organ donations were encouraged, and those who came back to life with organ transplants continued to make headlines in the newspapers.

Another hope arose for Gilgamesh, who lost the weed when cloning was banned before it could replace the herb of immortality; “Stem cells”… but they too faced serious resistance, starting empirical treatments that would cause public controversy. Because the treatment success was low, the behavior of cells was unpredictable, it could be associated with cancer, and failure was brutally criticized. Those who were investigated were those who were dismissed from the profession.

Cloning is not legally possible today. The use of stem cells is restricted or prohibited in many countries. However, by producing tissue, treatment can be performed without straining ethical limits.

Tissue production can be autologous or allogeneic. The basic principle is that living cells are similar or identical to the characteristics of the original tissue and are placed in the host’s relevant tissue or in an environment where it can survive. Since the person’s own tissue is produced and applied to himself, it can be easily applied in medical treatments within the limits of ethical rules.

The cell source may be stem cells. However, the process of differentiation into muscle, cartilage, nerve or any tissue to be developed from stem cells is a very expensive and long process. Pluripotent (multipotent differentiation) cell sources can be used for cells that form nerve and muscle tissue that have completed their differentiation. Such cells decrease gradually as the bone marrow ages and it is very difficult to enrich. The richest source of pluripotent stem cells is in cord blood and blood taken from the embryonic side of the placenta. Taking and keeping these cells is very important in this respect.

The cells that complete their differentiation (muscle and nerve cells) cannot multiply by dividing and cannot be renewed by the body when damaged. The obstacle to the production and regeneration of cartilage from cells that have partially completed their differentiation but have the ability to transform into another cell is due to their inactivity in different matrix structures. The ability of bone, fibrous tissue and epithelial cells to renew themselves rapidly may be a hope for immortality. When it comes to epithelium, not only skin and organ surfaces should come to mind. Hormone and enzyme-supplying glands that have highly differentiated proliferative abilities but cannot be reproduced in the body are also of the same origin as epithelial cells. For example, pancreatic islet cells are of ectodermal origin, such as dopamine secreting cells that play a role in the formation of Parkinson’s in its absence, and epithelial cells of the adrenal glands. Today, tissue engineering seeks to differentiate these cells and produce them from stem cells or to reproduce them directly.

The relatively problematic tissue in the musculoskeletal system, other than muscle, is cartilage tissue. The reproduction of the cartilage cell is possible by removing it from the lacunae in which it is imprisoned and placing it in an environment where it can be fed again. When the appropriate matrix structure is provided according to the cartilage structure to be produced, there will be a ready-to-use cartilage tissue.

After the source cell (ear, joint surface) from which the cartilage tissue will be produced is taken from the donor area, production is started. Since the appropriate medium will also be the tissue to be transferred, the matrix will give the character of the tissue. The tissue produced according to the type of cartilage must bear the character of the tissue to which it is transferred as much as possible in order to maintain its vitality during the remodeling process in the body. Otherwise, the cells may be removed during remodeling and leave their places to non-functional fibrous tissues, which we can call “wildcard”. That is why one of the most important issues that tissue engineering focuses on is “biocompatibility”.

Well, we produced your texture, everything is ready and can we apply it to you? The answer to this question will reveal the concept of “host suitability”. In this case, your biological clock should be at times to adapt the new tissue to your body. The young cells that are transferred cannot survive alongside the old cells that surround them whose metabolism has fallen. In the area to be transferred, it should be biologically active and at a level to remove high metabolism. At this level, the snake is in the hands of the clinician. Ensuring that the host is suitable for cellular therapy will perhaps be more challenging than producing cells.

Technological developments, tissue engineering will bring many developments in the future. We will surely find and even find the herb of immortality, but the important thing is to know how to use it without getting caught by the snake.

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