What are Embryonic Stem Cells?
Within 24 hours of a sperm fertilizing an egg, the egg begins dividing into two cells, then four, and so on, until it becomes a hollow ball of cells called a blastocyst. This process is then interrupted for the harvest of ESCs. If it is not interrupted within three weeks, blastocyst cells begin to differentiate, starting with nerve cells. Depending on where or when they are harvested, the rejuvenation potential of Stem Cells will differ. Optimally Embryonic Stem Cells are harvested after the 4 to 5 days of divisions from the blastocyst left over from in vitro fertilization. The blastocyst of 150 or so cells is then extracted and cultured in petri dishes. The 150 cells will divide into millions of ESCs which have the capability of becoming any type of cell, these are known as pluripotent. The cultured ESCs are then mixed with plasma as the final step before infusion.