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What Types of Stem Cells are used in Regenerative Medicine Therapies?

January 12, 2017 • Knee Pain

What Types of Stem Cells are used in Regenerative Medicine Therapies?

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The widespread use of the term “regenerative medicine” can be attributed to American biologist, William A. Haseltine. Haseltine recognized that stem cells had the unique capability to differentiate into any other cell in the human body. This paved a way for a “new” type of regenerative therapy – one in which we could “employ human genes, protein and cells to re-grow, restore or provide mechanical replacements for tissues that have been injured by trauma, damaged by disease or worn by time.”

However, many people don’t realize that there are different types of stem cells that can be employed in stem cell therapy treatments. In America, there are 4 types of stem cells utilized in therapies – bone marrow-derived stem cells, adipose-derived stem cells, and amniotic and cord blood-derived stem cells.

 

The Similarities Between Different Stem Cell Types

Each type differs slightly from the other, but they all hold similar characteristics:

  • All 4 of these types of stem cells (which we use in Stem Cell Centers clinics) are non-tumorigenic (incapable of forming into tumors)
  • They can differentiate into cells of adipogenic-hormones, myogenic-muscle, hepatic-liver, pancreatic, osteogenic-bone, endothelial-blood vessels, and neuronal line-nerves
  • They have the ability to modify or regulate one or more immune functions. This means that they can get your immune system to work more efficiently, as well as turn auto-immune diseases “down” or “off”
  • “Immune-privileged”: these cells can be administered to any patient with rejection being extremely rare
  • They all utilize “paracrine signaling,” which is how cells communicate to one another. For example, a cell can produce a signal to induce changes in nearby cells, altering the behavior or differentiation of those cells, such as certain cancer cells. These cells can also communicate by acting as “beacons” to recruit other stem cells in the area to heal the damaged tissue.

As we can see, these various types of stem cells all hold the same great potential for reconstructing, regenerating and rebuilding damaged or injured tissue, but what exactly are the differences between the 4 types?

 

Amniotic Stem Cells

Amniotic stem cells are harvested from the amniotic sac – not an embryo. We want to assure patients that none of our cells are harvested from embryos, which can be confused with the amniotic sac. These two components are very different and are definitely not the same.

Other key characteristics of Amniotic Stem Cells:

  • Contain antibacterial and antiviral properties
  • Capable of multiplying extensively within the body to create a large number of healing cells
  • Processed at an FDA approved biologics lab after being harvested during a scheduled C-section or after a live birth. These cells go through rigorous testing before they are sent to our clinics

 

Cord Blood-Derived Hematopoietic Stem Cells

Concentrated cord blood stem cells are also donated by a mother after a live birth from the umbilical cord. Because amniotic and cord blood-derived stem cells are “brand new” and harvested immediately after birth, they are considered more potent than older stem cells.

Other key characteristics of Cord Blood-Derived Stem Cells:

  • Contain antibacterial and antiviral properties
  • Capable of multiplying extensively within the body to create a large number of healing cells
  • Processed at an FDA approved biologics lab after being harvested during a scheduled C-section or after a live birth. These cells go through rigorous testing before they are sent to our clinics

 

Bone Marrow-Derived Stem Cells

Along with amniotic and cord blood derived stem cells, we may also use bone marrow-derived stem cells for treatment. Bone marrow-derived stem cells are harvested from a patient’s pelvis. The extracted bone marrow biologics are then placed in a centrifuge to concentrate the stem cells and growth factors.

Other key characteristics of Bone Marrow-Derived Stem Cells:

  • Bone marrow is a suitable source of stem cells and growth factors for patients who are younger than 65
  • The entire procedure takes approximately 1-2 hours
  • Platelet Rich Plasma injections help with wound healing for bone-marrow procedures

 

Adipose-Derived Stem Cells

Adipose stem cells are harvested from a small sample of adipose tissue (fat). The extraction area is just above the love handles or abdomen on the patient.

Other key characteristics of Bone Marrow-Derived Stem Cells:

  • Harvesting these stem cells is a minimally-invasive procedure
  • Adipose tissue typically contains much larger volumes (millions) of mesenchymal stem cells than bone marrow.
  • They are autologous stem cells, meaning that the donor and recipient is the same person – making rejection extremely rare.

 

If you are considering stem cell therapy, it is always good to know the different types of stem cells and how the treatment works. The better informed you are about your treatment options, the more comfortable and confident you will be. If you have any other questions regarding stem cell therapy or would like to book an appointment, please visit us at stemcellcenters.com or call us at 1-844-ME-AGAIN.

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