Stem Cells are immature cells which have the unique potential to become many different cells in the human body. They also have the ability to renew themselves to maintain a constant population of identical Stem Cells. The body's ability to heal itself from a significant disease or injury is in large part dependent on Stem Cells and their ability to repair and regenerate the injured or diseased tissue or organ. The human body has many different types of Stem Cells, all of which have different roles to play.
We are born with a finite number of Stem Cells which are slowly depleted by age and chronic disease. While Stem Cells can renew themselves, they can only do so a certain number of times in the human body (40 - 60) before they stop they age to a point where they cannot renew themselves any longer. While we still have a certain number of Stem Cells as we get older, we slowly loose the ability to bring them to the areas in the body where they are needed.
Stem Cells can found in many areas of the body. The largest number of Stem Cells are located in our Bone Marrow, Fat Tissue (Adipose) and our Blood Stream. Bone Marrow is found in most of our larger bones such as the pelvis (hip bone) and our femur (thigh bone). Bone Marrow has the largest number of what are called 'Hematopoietic Stem Cells' or simply 'HSC's. These types of Stem Cells are in charge of making all the blood cells in the body, such as Red Blood Cells (RBCs), White Blood Cells (WBCs) and Platelets. Fat tissue also has a large number of Stem Cells called 'Mesenchymal Stem Cells' or simply 'MSC's. These are also found in Bone Marrow. MSCs can generate many different types of cells, such as bone cells (osteocytes), cartilage cells (chondrocytes), muscle cells (myocytes), fat cells (adipocytes) and others. Our blood stream has very small numbers of all the Stem Cells when compared to Bone Marrow and Adipose Tissue.
Stem Cells can be harvested from Bone Marrow, Fat Tissue and Blood to be utilized as a source of repair and regeneration in many parts of the human body.
Stem Cells can be safely harvested from the Bone Marrow, Fat Tissue and Blood. Each of these areas has different types and numbers of Stem Cells which can serve different purposes depending on each patient's disease process.
Stem Cells from Bone Marrow are harvested with a needle, called a 'trocar' from the pelvis. The pelvis is a rich source of Bone Marrow Stem Cells and is easily and safely accessible. After placing the needle into the pelvic bone, a syringe can simply aspirate and collect the Bone Marrow.
Stem Cells from Fat Tissue are collected either from the abdomen, flank or buttock area. A small cannula is placed into the fat tissue which has the ability to suction out the fat tissue in what is called a "mini liposuction" procedure.
Stem Cells from blood can be simply collected in the same way that blood is given for a laboratory test.
Stem Cells were first used to treat Leukemia in 1956. This was done by professor E. Donnal Thomas and his team from the University of Washington. Since that time, tens of thousands of successful Stem Cell transplantation procedure have been performed which have saved many lives and provide treatments for disease for which no other treatments exist.
Stem Cells can be used to treat a wide variety of diseases, such as orthopedic conditions and diseases of the brain, heart, lungs, pancreas, liver and others. While many Stem Cell treatments are in the research phase, other are already available today and have a proven scientific record of safety and efficacy.
Stem Cells can be isolated from a patient's Bone Marrow, Fat Tissue, or Blood and safely processed to generate the maximum Stem Cell potency. The purified and processed Stem Cells can then be delivered to the diseased areas of the body by injection or implantation techniques. Once in the proper area, these Stem Cells can transform themselves into the types of cells needed to repair and regenerate the diseased organ or tissue. At the same time, these Stem Cells will release signals and which bring other repair cells to the area, In addition they will release Growth Factors which can help to form new cells, new blood vessels (angiogenesis), and guide other Stem Cells to become the cells which are needed.
In recent years, several new Stem Cell types have been discovered which show tremendous potential. These are types of genetically modified Stem Cells, called 'Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells' which were discovered at Kyoto University in Japan in 2006. These types of Stem Cells resemble Embryonic Stem Cells and are currently in clinical trials.
Another very exciting type of Stem Cell discovered in 2010 also at Kyoto University are called Multi-Lineage, Differentiating, Stress Enduring Stem Cells, or 'MUSE Stem Cells' for short. This type of Stem Cells is very unique in that they also have embryonic-like Stem Cell features and can make most cells in the human body. In addition, MUSE Stem Cells can survive when transplanted from one part of the body to another. These cells can be harvested from a patient's Bone Marrow and Fat Tissue, activated and then transplanted to another part of the body where they are needed. Once in the area of injury or disease, MUSE Stem Cells will begin to make the specific cells required to repair and regenerate the tissue. At the American Institute of Regenerative Medicine and Surgery, we have the unique and cutting edge technology required to isolate and activate MUSE Stem Cells to offer our patients the world's most advanced Stem Cell treatments.
Stem Cells are constantly secreting bioactive molecules, called Exosomes. These types of Stem Cell Secretions contain very high concentrations of Growth Factors which have the ability to repair and regenerate injured and diseased tissue. Exosomes are naturally released when Stem Cells reach their target sites, but can also be collected when Stem Cells are grown in the laboratory. In this case, Stem Cells are grown in a culture medium over a specific period of time. At that point, the culture medium rather than the cells are collected. The Exosomes can then be isolated from the culture medium and are ready to be delivered to patients. During the time of the cell culture, very high numbers of Exosomes are generated and thus a high dose is achieved. If Stem Cells are grown in a very inflammatory environment, their Exosomes try to balance the environment by generating highly anti-inflammatory Exosomes. Using a these types of anti-inflammatory Exosomes can be highly beneficial when treating conditions with a high inflammatory component, such as auto-immune disease.