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 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 159-162

Evaluation of the knowledge and level of information about stem cells research and therapeutic potential among medical and dental postgraduate students of sumandeep vidyapeeth, Vadodara


1 Department of Periodontology, KM Shah Dental College and Hospital, Sumandeep Vidyapeeth Deemed to be University, Vadodara, Gujrat, India
2 Private Practitoner, Vadodara, Gujrat, India

Date of Submission31-Aug-2021
Date of Acceptance30-Dec-2021
Date of Web Publication13-May-2022

Correspondence Address:
Ankit Sant
Department of Periodontology, KM Shah Dental College and Hospital, Sumandeep Vidyapeeth Deemed to be University, Po. Piparia, Ta. Waghodia, District Vadodara - 391 760, Gujarat
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/aihb.aihb_131_21

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  Abstract 


Introduction: Stem cells are definite units competent of both self-renewal and differentiation into numerous cells. Embryonic and postnatal tissues are the major sources of stem cells. The aim of the study was to assess the knowledge and level of information about stem cells research and therapeutic potential among Medical and Dental postgraduate students of Sumandeep Vidyapeeth, Vadodara. Materials and Methods: The Medical and Dental postgraduate students of Sumandeep Vidyapeeth, Vadodara, were selected. The questionnaire form was taken to them by the principal investigator personally and explained about the study and asked to fill the questionnaire after obtaining consent. The collected questionnaire was excluded if more than 30% of questions were not filled. Results: A total of 435 medical and dental postgraduate students of Sumandeep Vidyapeeth, Vadodara, were included in the study. 109 dental postgraduates (26.58%), and 301 were medical postgraduates. All participants had a basic knowledge of stem cells (100%), but only a few had specific knowledge (3.90%). Only a few agreed to human embryo research and considered it ethical (0.73%). All agreed to conserve their child's umbilical cord for the child's therapeutic purposes. Conclusion: We can conclude that the knowledge and level of information about stem cells exhibited by most of the participants were minimal. However, all participants expressed a genuine desire to enhance their knowledge regarding stem cells. There is a need for Continuing Medical Education/ Continuing Dental Education (CME/CDE) workshops as well as conferences on this subject to upgrade the knowledge of participants and the community as a whole.

Keywords: Knowledge and awareness, periodontal regeneration, stem cells


How to cite this article:
Sant A, Dave D, Shah M, Deshpande N, Rai J, Nadig P. Evaluation of the knowledge and level of information about stem cells research and therapeutic potential among medical and dental postgraduate students of sumandeep vidyapeeth, Vadodara. Adv Hum Biol 2022;12:159-62

How to cite this URL:
Sant A, Dave D, Shah M, Deshpande N, Rai J, Nadig P. Evaluation of the knowledge and level of information about stem cells research and therapeutic potential among medical and dental postgraduate students of sumandeep vidyapeeth, Vadodara. Adv Hum Biol [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Aug 11];12:159-62. Available from: https://www.aihbonline.com/text.asp?2022/12/2/159/345207




  Introduction Top


Scientists have shown a keen interest in cell biology since the dawn of microscopes in the 17th century. Since the last decade, there has been an enormous information explosion in the area of stem cell research.[1] Slowly but steadily, attempts are being made to study the regenerative potential in human beings. It is highly likely that stem cells will revolutionize the whole health-care delivery system.

The term stem cell was coined by Russian histologist Alexander Maksimov in 1908. The first documentation in stem cell research history was done by Bongso and Richards in 1994 regarding the isolation of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) from human embryos.[2] A broad range of diseased cells and tissues in critically ill patients could be repaired or regenerated with the help of ESCs as per the findings of their studies.[3] Melcher et al. first proposed that stem cells may be found within the periodontal tissues. He had a query regarding whether the cementoblasts, osteoblasts and periodontal ligament fibroblasts which comprise the periodontium are essentially derived from a solitary population of stem cells or not.[4]

Studies by McCulloch et al. have provided convincing evidence regarding the presence of these cells within the periodontium. A trivial population of progenitor cells in the vicinity of blood vessels in the periodontium were identified by him.[5]

Adult stem cells, pluripotent stem cells and ESCs are the major sources of stem cells. A very few studies have been done to investigate the knowledge and level of information about stem cells in the medical fraternity. Hence, this study was aimed to investigate knowledge and information about stem cells among medical and dental postgraduate students of Sumandeep Vidyapeeth, Vadodara.


  Materials and Methods Top


This study was conducted in the Department of Periodontology, KM Shah Dental College and Hospital, Vadodara, after obtaining Institutional Ethics Committee Approval (KMS/2020/ET/0023). This was a questionnaire study that was used to assess the knowledge and level of information about stem cells among medical and dental postgraduate students of Sumandeep Vidyapeeth, Vadodara. Medical and Dental postgraduate students of Sumandeep Vidyapeeth were selected. The questionnaire was formulated in the English language in a close-ended format. The questionnaire form was taken to them by the principal investigator personally and explained about the study and asked to fill the questionnaire after obtaining consent. Questions in this cross-sectional study concerned the following areas: (i) knowledge and information of human ESCs; (ii) attitudes/opinions about stem cell research; (iii) umbilical cord blood cells explant (iv) therapeutic potential of stem cells.

For the validation of the questionnaire, an initial pilot was carried out in which a structured questionnaire designed to investigate the aims and objectives of the study were tested for content validity. Questionnaires were distributed to subject experts for their suggestions, and accordingly, changes were made in the questionnaire. It was confirmed that the basic information provided by the study was the same as what the researcher wanted to ask. Thus, the present study had content validity.


  Results Top


A total of 435 medical and dental postgraduate students of Sumandeep Vidyapeeth, Vadodara, were included in the study. Twenty-five participants were either not willing to participate or were absent for three consecutive visits.

The frequency table showed that out of a total of 410 participants, 109 were dental postgraduates (26.58%) and 301 were medical postgraduates (73.41%) [Table 1].
Table 1: Frequency and percentage of medical and dental postgraduates of Sumandeep Vidyapeeth who participated in this study

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According to [Table 2] and [Table 3], the results showed that all 410 participants (100%) had a basic knowledge of stem cells. Only 16 participants (3.90%) had specific knowledge of stem cells. Two hundred and twenty-seven participants (55.36%) did not have specific knowledge of stem cells, and 167 participants (40.73%) were not sure out of a total of 410 participants. One hundred and seventy-four participants (42.43%) were aware of the different treatment modalities possible with stem cells, 151 (36.82%) participants were unaware of it, and 85 participants (20.73%) were not sure of the various treatment modalities possible with stem cells. None of the 410 participants (0%) had attended a seminar, workshop or a CDE or CME on stem cells. All the 410 participants (100%) were keen and enthusiastic to upgrade their knowledge regarding stem cells. Forty-seven participants (11.06%) were aware of the various methods of isolating stem cells, 271 (66.09%) were unaware and 92 (22.03%) were not sure about the various methods of isolating stem cells. Three participants (0.73%) were of the opinion that embryo research is ethical, 174 (42.43%) believed embryo research is unethical, whereas 233 (56.82%) were not sure. Three participants (0.73%) agreed with human supernumerary embryo research, 135 disagreed (32.92%) and 272 (66.34%) were not sure. All 410 participants (100%) agreed to receive information regarding stem cell explantation and thereby enhance their knowledge. None of the participants (0%) was aware of the Indian legislation of explants and conservation of umbilical cord stem cells. Ninety-four participants (22.92%) were aware of the different methods regarding stem cell preservation, 144 (35.12%) were unaware and 172 (41.95%) were not sure of the various methods for stem cell preservation. All the 410 participants (100%) agreed to conserve their child's umbilical cord stem cells for the child's therapeutic purposes.
Table 2: Frequency of various responses of medical and dental postgraduates of Sumandeep Vidyapeeth regarding stem cells

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Table 3: Percentage of various responses of medical and dental postgraduates of Sumandeep Vidyapeeth regarding stem cells

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  Discussion Top


Knowledge and information about stem cells among all medical and dental postgraduates are believed to be variable, and they are expected to be lifelong learners. A stem cell is considered a new concept in the medical field, and with that, the emphasis on innovative science and focusing on quality science is relatively new. Hence, the aim of this study was to assess the knowledge and level of information regarding stem cells research and therapeutic potential among Medical and Dental postgraduates of Sumandeep Vidyapeeth, Vadodara.

In this study, 410 medical and dental postgraduates of Sumandeep Vidyapeeth, Vadodara were included. The questionnaire comprised questions pertaining to knowledge and opportunities of human ESCs research, attitudes/opinions about stem cell research among postgraduates, umbilical cord blood cells explants and therapeutic potential of stem cells.

According to the results of this study, all the participants had generic knowledge of stem cells. However, most of the participants did not have detailed knowledge of stem cells. This could be due to the fact that none of the participants had attended a seminar, webinar or conference pertaining to stem cells. All the participants were not sure or were of the opinion that embryo research is unethical and hence did not agree with human supernumerary embryo research. Many of the participants were aware of the various treatment modalities possible with stem cells. However, most of the participants had no information regarding various ways of isolating stem cells as well as the different methods of stem cell preservation. None of the participants had information regarding Indian legislation on stem cells. However, all agreed to conserve their child's umbilical cord stem cells for their child's therapeutic purposes.

This is in accordance with the study by Frati et al.,[6] which aimed to assess the Italian physicians' knowledge/information level about the therapeutic possibilities of stem cells, the research choice between embryonic and coronal stem cells and the preference between autologous and heterologous storage of coronal stem cells. The questionnaire involved doctors of various medical specialities. Maximum doctors were gynaecologists and paediatricians (43%). A maximum number of the physicians interviewed did not have advanced knowledge about stem cells (59%), most of them having only basic knowledge (92%).[7]

Thus, this study showed that although the amount of knowledge and level of information regarding stem cells, its therapeutic potential and supernumerary embryo research was limited among the medical and dental postgraduates, there was a keen desire to upgrade this knowledge so that it can benefit the community as a whole.


  Conclusion Top


We can conclude that the knowledge and level of information about stem cells exhibited by most of the participants were minimal. However, all participants expressed a genuine desire to enhance their knowledge regarding stem cells. There is a need for CME/CDE workshops as well as conferences on this subject to upgrade the knowledge of participants and the community as a whole.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Ghada AK. Dental Pulp Stem Cells- a new era in Tissue Engineering. Smile dent J 2009;4:6-9.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Ariff Bongso. History and perspective of stem cell research Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol 2004;18:827-42.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Alison MR, Poulsom R, Forbes S, Wright NA. An introduction to stem cells. J Pathol 2002;197:419–23.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Bartold PM, Shi S, Gronthos S. Stem cells and periodontal regeneration. Periodontol 2000 2006;40:164-72.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
McCulloch CA. Origins and functions of cells essential for periodontal repair: the role of fibroblast in tissue homeostasis. Oral Dis 1995;1:271-78.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Frati P, Gulino M, Pacchiarotti A, D'Errico S, Sicuro L, Fineschi V.A. Survey of Italian Physicians' Opinion about stem cells research: What Doctors prefer and what the law requires. BioMed Res Int 2014;14:1-9.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Gucciardo L, De Koninck P, Verfaillie C, Lories R, Deprest J. Perception and knowledge about stem cell and tissue engineering research: a survey amongst researchers and medical practitioners in perinatology. Stem Cell Rev 2014;10:447-54.  Back to cited text no. 7
    



 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3]



 

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