Stem Cell Therapy: A Journey, #1
Stem Cell Therapy is also called Regenerative Medicine. It’s a branch of molecular biology which deals with the “process of replacing, engineering or regenerating human cells to restore or establish normal function.” The objective is to engineer damaged tissues and organs by stimulating the body’s own repair mechanisms to heal previously irreparable tissues or organs.
The mechanism of regeneration is not yet fully understood. Most doctors will tell you, “We really don’t fully understand what is happening here …” But like early vaccinations, which weren’t fully understood either, the positive results are encouraging. Some of the long-term results are evident in the rarefied world of horse racing where stem cell therapy has been used for years.
Stem Cell Therapy uses three biological factors to work. 1) Your own stem cells. 2) Nutrients to encourage cell growth and 3) A molecular lattice or scaffold that the Stem Cells can attach to and grow.
Let’s look at each of these three biological factors:
1) Stem Cells or Mesenchymal Stem Cells are now also known as Multipotent Stromal Cells (MSCs). They can morph, into a variety of cell types, including bone cells, cartilage cells and muscle. Stem cells are divided into “adult” and “embryonic.” Adult stem cells are used in stem cell therapy. Embryonic stem cells are still the focus of ethical issues and are not part of this discussion. The two most common areas where stem cells are taken from your body are from bone marrow or body fat. Early stem cell therapy emphasized bone marrow over body fat as a source for bone and cartilage treatment. Most therapies have moved away from this distinction and now use body fat, also known as “Adipose-Tissue-Derived Stem Cells” or (ADSCs). ADSCs are usually taken from the back or “love handles” in a minor liposuction procedure at the beginning of your same-day treatment. Body fat one of the richest sources of stem cells. There are more than 500 times more stem cells in 1 gram of fat than in 1 gram of bone marrow. Body fat stem cells are actively being researched in clinical trials for treatment of a variety of diseases.
2) Nutrients to Encourage Cell Growth is a platelet-rich plasma (PRP). PRP contains multiple growth factors including transforming growth factor (TGF), insulin-like growth factor (IGF), fibroblast growth factor (FGF), and platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF). Data shows that PRP has a positive effect on the stimulation of bones, blood vessel and cartilage formation. Think of it as nutrient bath that encourages stem cell growth and development in the affected areas of your body. Stem Cells need to food to grow as they develop in the body. Chow Time!
3) A molecular frame, lattice or scaffold that the Stem Cells can attach to and grow. Think Chia Pet. Those seeds need to have something to hang onto while they grow. Same with Stem Cells; they’ve got to have a structure to grow on. Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is a molecule with functions found in many tissues, including cartilage. HA is currently used as the molecular scaffold system. The scoffold typically serves for at least one of the following purposes: To allow cell attachment and migration; To deliver and retain cells and biochemical factors; To enable diffusion of vital cell nutrients and expressed products; To exert certain mechanical and biological influences to modify the behaviour of the cell phase. Using injected HA-binding provides the ability to interact with your body’s local HA which should foster new 3-dimensional cell tissue production. Calcium chloride is used as a PRP-activating agent.
My Stem Cell Treatment on December 18, 2015,consisted of 3 injections, one right after the other in the same spot, during my 2-hour procedure: 1) Stem cells. 2) Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) RPR Growth Factor. 3) Hyaluronic Acid (HA) as a Scaffold.