Other Sources of Stem Cells
Stem cell therapy is a form of regenerative medicine that utilizes the body's natural healing mechanism to treat various conditions.
Stem cells are being used in regenerative medicine to renew and repair diseased or damaged tissues and have shown promising results in treatments of various orthopedic, cardiovascular, neuromuscular and autoimmune conditions.
Stem cells are present in all of us acting like a repair system for the body. However, with increased age sometimes the necessary amounts of stem cells are not present at the injured area. The goal of stem cell therapy is to amplify the natural repair system of the patient's body by increasing the numbers of stem cells at injury sites.
From what sources can stems cell be obtained?
The stem cells may be obtained from sources such as:
How are allograft stem cells obtained?
Stem cells may be obtained from various sources such as bone marrow, fat, blood, umbilical cord and embryonal tissue. Allograft stem cells are obtained from a donor or tissue bank. Vertebral bodies of deceased donors have a high concentration of stem cells and are ideal for allograft stem cell therapy.
How is allograft stem cell therapy performed?
Your doctor will first clean and numb the area to be treated. Under the guidance of special X-rays, the stem cell preparation will be injected into the diseased region. The whole procedure usually takes less than an hour and you will return home the same day of the procedure.
What are the potential risks of allograft stem cell therapy?
Potential risks of allograft stem cell therapy include contamination of the stem cell preparation as well as infection and tissue damage associated with any injection procedure. Rarely, an immune reaction may occur due to the injected stem cells.
What is umbilical cord stem cell therapy?
Umbilical cord blood is a rich source of vibrant young cells, including stem cells, cytokines and growth factors that support tissue regeneration and repair. Umbilical cord blood is derived from the umbilical cord which connects the mother to her baby.
Stem cells are undifferentiated (not specified) cells with the potential to develop into other types of specialized cells like soft tissue, muscle and cartilage. Types of stem cells present in umbilical cord blood include mesenchymal stem cells, hematopoietic stem cells and other beneficial cell populations. These young cells, cytokines and growth factors work together to help balance the body's ability to repair and regenerate itself.
Umbilical cord blood is donated tissue from consenting donors that undergo full testing. Each donor is subjected to comprehensive infectious disease testing that surpass federal and industry standards, ensuring it is safe for use.
Umbilical cord a blood stem cells may be used to treat various conditions such as:
- Degenerative diseases
- Tissue injuries
- Blood Disorders
- Certain cancers
- Metabolic Disorders
- Immune Disorders
Umbilical cord blood cells easily adapt to your body's environment and begin to signal your cells. This signaling can speed up the body's natural healing process and reinforce the body's immune system.
Cord blood is obtained from a healthy donor during a live healthy birth. The umbilical cord is clamped and cut as normal following birth, but instead of discarding, the cord is taken to another room where the leftover blood within is obtained. The mother and baby do not experience any pain and the baby does not experience any shortage of stem cells.
Once obtained, the blood is tested and processed to remove the red blood cells and the plasma. The remaining mononucleated cells, which include stem cells, can be developed into a biologic therapy which may be cryopreserved or frozen for later use.
The advantage of using stem cells and growth factors from the umbilical cord are:
- They differentiate and multiply more efficiently
- They naturally move to the desired area
- They adapt very well to the host body without causing an adverse reaction
- As the umbilical cord is normally discarded at birth, its use for cellular therapy does not raise any ethical concerns
Risks and complications
There is no possible risk to the baby or mother since the cord blood is obtained after the cord has been detached.
There is a small risk of infection and swelling when administering umbilical cord blood therapy to a patient.
Amniotic fluid (AF) is the protective media which surrounds the amnion, the sac which encloses a developing fetus in the womb. This amniotic membrane (AM) and fluid have been found to be excellent sources of stem cells or precursor cells that have the ability to multiply and transform into cells of any tissue. Stem cells aid in the repair and regeneration of tissues and can be used to treat various orthopedic injuries and conditions.
The amniotic membrane and amniotic fluid are usually discarded after birth but may be obtained from a donor with prior consent after a cesarean section. It is then developed into a biologic therapy which can be cryopreserved or frozen for later use.
Amniotic fluid stem cell therapy may be used to treat wounds, soft tissue defects and joint conditions. These stem cells may be applied topically or injected into deep tissues. Besides stem cells, they also contain growth factors, proteins and other extracellular components which facilitate the healing process, reduce inflammation and act as a scaffold for new tissue growth.
Stem cell therapy is a form of regenerative medicine that utilizes the body's natural healing ability to repair and regenerate damaged or diseased cells, tissues and organs.
Stem cells are the body's unspecialized cells that have the ability to multiply and differentiate into other cell types. They are present in the human embryo, where they differentiate and divide to form the various tissues of the body. They later get distributed throughout the body in specific pockets of tissues such as the bone marrow, blood and adipose tissue (fat), and function to renew old and worn out tissue cells.
This amazing potential has been used in stem cell therapy to heal and treat dying, damaged or diseased tissue. The goal of stem cell therapy is to amplify the natural repair system by harvesting stem cells from a particular site, and reinjecting them at sites that require repair and regeneration.
Adipose tissue has a high concentration of stem cells and is easy to harvest, so is often preferred for stem cell therapy.
Stem cells are used in regenerative medicine to renew and repair diseased or damaged tissue, and have shown promising results in treatment of various orthopedic, cardiovascular, neuromuscular and autoimmune conditions.
Stem cell therapy in Orthopaedics is used to treat various degenerative conditions of the shoulder, elbow, hip, knee, ankle, and spine. It is also used for muscle, ligament, tendon and bone-related injuries.
A suitable area for extracting fat, either from the abdomen, buttock or thigh, is chosen and anesthetized. An adequate amount of fat is obtained from just below the skin with the help of a small cannula. The extracted fat is centrifuged to obtain a concentrate of fat stem cells. Blood is then drawn and a concentrate of blood platelets, which contains a high level of growth factors, is usually separated. A mixture of the fat-derived stem cells and the growth factors is then returned to the body through an intravenous line or directly injected into the area to be treated. When targeting deep tissues, stem cell injection is guided by live imaging studies. The procedure takes about an hour after which you may return to your regular activities.
You may experience some soreness at the injection sites. Recovery varies depending on the site of injection, but in most cases you will leave the facility in a few hours and are able to return to work in 2 or 3 days.
The advantages of adipose-derived stem cells include
- Stem cells are easily harvested from adipose tissue through a less painful and minimally invasive technique with minimal risk to the patient.
- Due to the high concentration of stem cells in adipose tissue, the harvested cells do not have to be cultured to increase their numbers.
- Adipose tissue-derived stem cells have an increased potential for regeneration of blood vessels which helps carry oxygen and nutrients necessary for tissue healing.
- It is a safe process without the risk of cell rejection or transmission of diseases as the fat cells are removed from owns own body.
Risks and complications
Stem cell therapy is generally considered a safe procedure with minimal complications, however, as with any medical procedure, complications can occur and may include:
- Infection of the tissues while aspirating or injecting stem cells.
- Contamination during the preparation process.