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Stem Cell Therapy

It’s a popular misconception that regenerative medicine is just about stem cells. Although they are certainly crucial and can be beneficial when they’re viable (not always the case when they are of advanced age), there are other components that are as or even more important when it comes to helping the body regenerate and heal. These components include the following:

Regenerative Components

  • Wharton’s jelly: Wharton’s jelly is the gelatinous substance found in the umbilical cord. It surrounds and protects the blood vessels within the umbilical cord and is rich in growth factors, cytokines, hyaluronic acid, cellular components and extracellular vesicles, which aid in strength, flexibility, cushioning, covering, compressibility and response to friction in the body. It plays a vital role in reducing inflammation.
  • Proteins: Essential for maintaining the structure, function, and regulation of the body’s tissues and organs, proteins play a key role in tissue repair and facilitating metabolic reactions. Some proteins act as chemical messengers between cells, tissues, and organs, while others provide structural support.
  • Collagens: Collagens serve as a foundational scaffold, imparting strength and structure throughout the body, which facilitates the growth of new tissues.
  • Cytokines: Acting as molecular messengers between cells, cytokines regulate various physiological processes such as immunity, inflammation, and hematopoiesis. They stimulate the production of blood cells and promote growth and differentiation essential for development, tissue maintenance, and repair.
  • Growth factors: These factors play a crucial role in regulating cell division and survival, thereby promoting the growth of specific tissues.
  • Hyaluronic acid: Naturally occurring in the body, hyaluronic acid acts as a cushion and lubricant for joints and other tissues. It finds applications in treating joint disorders, aging-related conditions, and wound healing, potentially enhancing skin health and preserving bone strength.
  • Elastin: Serving as the predominant protein in skin, elastin contributes to the resilience and elasticity of tissues and organs, surpassing collagen in flexibility and durability.
  • Chemokines: A subset of cytokines, chemokines specifically regulate cell movement and play a critical role in orchestrating immunological responses.
  • Carbohydrates: Essential for sustaining fundamental life processes, carbohydrates play roles in energy production and storage, macromolecule synthesis, including proteins, and support lipid metabolism.
  • Amino acids: Fundamental units comprising proteins, amino acids are indispensable for protein synthesis, tissue repair, and facilitating nutrient absorption within the body.

The mechanisms of regenerative medicine

In essence, regenerative medicine operates on the principle that cells, which are the basic units of tissue, come together to form tissues, the fundamental components of bodily function.

When cells aggregate, they establish their own support systems known as the extracellular matrix. This matrix not only provides structural support but also serves as a communication hub. Cells within this matrix receive signals from their surroundings, triggering various responses that dictate their behavior.

Thanks to advancements in medical technology, we now have the ability to observe how individual cells respond to stimuli, interact with their environment, and organize themselves during the healing process. Utilizing various regenerative medicine treatments, we can harness the potential of the extracellular matrix to facilitate self-assembly of tissues.

One notable concept in regenerative medicine is epimorphosis, which involves the regeneration of specific body parts through cell growth, cellular rearrangement, and structural reformation. This process mirrors the natural ability of certain organisms, like lizards regrowing their tails. Similarly, regenerative medicine treatments can aid in restoring anatomical structures affected by conditions such as joint degeneration or hair loss.

Applications of regenerative medicine

  • Managing pain:Regenerative medicine may provide a means of managing pain with fewer side effects and longer-lasting relief than drugs such as opioid medications, which carry the risks of addiction and potential overdose along with various other side effects.
  • Sports injuries: Regenerative medicine may offer a superior alternative to treating sports injuries over anti-inflammatory medications, corticosteroid injections, and surgery or other invasive measures. Sports injuries predominantly affect the musculoskeletal system, like in the hip, knee, or shoulder. Low blood flow to tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and bones in these areas limits the body’s natural healing processes; however, regenerative medicine treatments can address limited self-repair capacity in, for instance, the cartilage, by introducing new cells or growth factors needed for cellular repair. These interventions can make treatment more effective along with reducing the risk of recurring injuries.
  • Anti-aging: The average age of women having an anti-aging procedure has dropped from 47 to 35. Treatments include platelet-rich plasma (PRP) as well as use of Wharton’s jelly and other human cellular tissue products.
  • Hair restoration: Regenerative medicine may be able to treat hair loss by providing nutrition and new blood supply to follicles, increasing the size of the hair shaft, reducing inflammation in the scalp, and turning on follicular stem cells to promote hair growth.

Regenerative medicine therapies

Birth Tissues

Donated by healthy mothers during normal delivery, birth tissue undergoes rigorous screening to ensure safety. It has been used for over a century and offers clinical benefits when cryo-preserved. These products, immune-privileged and easy to apply, have treated tens of thousands of patients.

Amniotic Fluid Therapy

Derived from the innermost layer of the placenta, amniotic fluid therapy contains a variety of components that promote natural healing processes. Its collagen substrates, growth factors, and anti-inflammatory properties aid tissue repair without the risk of graft-versus-host reactions.

Umbilical Cord Tissue

Containing medicinal signaling cells, Wharton’s Jelly from the umbilical cord provides versatile healing potential. It releases cytokines and growth factors, aiding repair and regeneration, especially beneficial for patients over forty.

Umbilical Cord Blood

Containing hematopoietic stem cells and medicinal signaling cells, umbilical cord blood is highly plastic and effective for hematopoietic cell reconstitution. Its decreased risk of graft-versus-host disease makes it a safe option for transplantation.

Exosomes

Derived from healthy connective tissue cells, exosomes stimulate regenerative and immune responses, activating dormant cells and promoting healing. They pose no risk of cancerous transformation and are not limited by the patient’s age.

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)

Obtained by separating platelets from blood, PRP delivers growth factors to promote tissue healing. While not as potent as other therapies, PRP activates cells to produce collagen and accelerates the healing process, especially when combined with other treatments.

Adipose Derived Stem Cells

Collected from fat tissue via mini-liposuction, adipose-derived stem cells are injected back into the patient’s body to facilitate healing. This outpatient procedure provides a potential source of regenerative cells.

Bone Marrow Aspirate Stem Cells

Bone marrow aspirate concentrate, collected from bone marrow, is spun down to obtain a high concentration of stem cells. Injected directly into the surgical site, this therapy promotes tissue regeneration, with success dependent on the patient’s age.

At Advanced Spinal Care & Rehab, we primarily use Wharton’s jelly (umbilical cord tissue) and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) in our regenerative medicine treatments.

To learn more about how our regenerative medicine treatments can help
Call our office today to schedule a free consultation
(651) 490-1507

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