Stem Cell Therapy - Regenerative Medicine
Regenerative medicine is the process of creating living, functional tissues to repair or replace tissue or organ function lost due to age, disease, damage, or congenital defects. This field holds the promise of regenerating damaged tissues and organs in the body by stimulating previously irreparable organs to heal themselves. Regenerative medicine also empowers scientists to grow tissues and organs in the laboratory and safely implant them when the body cannot heal itself. Importantly, regenerative medicine has the potential to solve the problem of the shortage of organs available through donation compared to the number of patients that require life-saving organ transplantation.
- Successful transplantation of bone, soft tissue, and corneas occurred early in the 20th century.
- Real progress in organ transplantation began in 1954 with the first successful kidney transplant.
- During the 1960s, successful transplantation of pancreas/kidney, liver, isolated pancreas and heart occurred.
- Transplant surgery success continued into the 1980s with successful heart-lung, single lung, double lung, living-donor liver, and living-donor lung transplants. Transplant surgery success continued into the 1980s with successful heart-lung, single lung, double lung, living-donor liver, and living-donor lung transplants.
Human Cell and Tissue Landscape
Regenerative Medicine - Today
- The rapid development of transplant medicine along with the aging of the baby boomer generation has caused an increased demand for tissues and organs far exceeding the available donor organs.
- Approximately 500,000 Americans benefit from a transplant each year.
- As of August 2010, there were approximately 108,000 people on the waiting list for donor organs. Many of these individuals will die before a suitable organ can be found.
- Tissue-engineered skin has been used for skin replacement, temporary wound cover for burns, and treatment for diabetic leg and foot ulcers.
- Tissue-engineered bladder, derived from a patient’s own cells, can be grown outside the body and successfully transplanted.
- Material developed from the small intestines of pigs is increasingly used by surgeons to restore damaged tissues and support the body’s own healing processes. Physicians rely on the material, called small intestinal submucosa (SIS), for everything from reconstructing ligaments to treating incontinence. Today, SIS is most commonly used to help the body close hard-to-heal wounds such as second-degree burns, chronic pressure ulcers, diabetic skin ulcers, and deep skin lacerations.
- Tissue-engineered products are used to induce bone and connective tissue growth, guide long bone regeneration, and replace damaged knee cartilage.
- Tissue-engineered vascular grafts for heart bypass surgery and cardiovascular disease treatment are at the pre-clinical trial stage.
- Stem and precursor cells are available from a wide variety of sources (e.g., embryos, gestational and adult tissues, and reprogrammed differentiated cells). This increases the sophistication, variety and utility of engineered tissues.
Tomorrow Regenerative Medicine
- By providing healthy, functional tissues and organs, regenerative medicine will improve the quality of life for individuals.
- Imagine a world where there is no donor organ shortage, where victims of spinal cord injuries can walk, and where weakened hearts are replaced. This is the long-term promise of regenerative medicine, a rapidly developing field with the potential to transform the treatment of human disease through the development of innovative new therapies that offer a faster, more complete recovery with significantly fewer side effects or risk of complications.
- Insulin-producing pancreatic islets could be regenerated in the body or grown in the laboratory and implanted, creating the potential for a cure for diabetes.
- Tissue-engineered heart muscle may be available to repair human hearts damaged by attack or disease.
- The emerging technique of Organ Printing utilizes a standard ink jet printer modified with tissue matrix material (and possibly also cells) replacing the ink. “Made-to-order” organs of almost any configuration could then be cast and implanted.
- Materials Science meets Regenerative Medicine as “smart” biomaterials are being made that actively participate in, and orchestrate, the formation of functional tissue.
- New approaches to revitalizing worn-out body parts include removing all of the cells from an organ, and infusing new cells to integrate into the existing matrix and restore full functionality.
Conditions Treated with Stem Cell Therapy
Here are some of the conditions for which our Institute offers PRP and stem cell procedures: Indications for Stem Cell Therapy :
- Tendonitis of the Achilles, Shoulder, Elbow, Hip
- Arthritis of the Hip, Knee, Shoulder, Ankle
- Tennis or Golfer’s Elbow
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Rotator Cuff Tendonitis/Tears
- Achilles Tendonitis/Tears
- Hip and Knee Tendonitis
- Ligament Sprains
- Bursitis (e.g. hip)
- Fractures (e.g. hip)
- Ankle Sprains
- Cartilage Defects
- SI Joint Inflammation or Arthritis
- Facet Syndrome and Back Pain
- Spinal Arthritis
- Occipital Neuralgia
- Kidney Disease
- Cardiac Conditions
- Neurologic Conditions
- Nonhealing Wounds
- Neuropathy – Diabetic and Peripheral
For decades the solution to joint pain has been a two-pronged approach: first, mask the pain, and when that is no longer possible, joint replacement. Anti-inflammatory drugs, cortisone injections offer temporary relief until the condition exacerbates. Joint replacement, a temporary solution itself, is invasive and requires a long, uncertain recovery, including physical therapy.
According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, over 900,000 people in the United States underwent knee and hip replacement in 2011, and that number continues to increase steadily each year.
The answer just might be found with regenerative medicine, procedures that repair tissue damage as opposed to ignoring or masking it. Stem cells are at the heart of regenerative medicine, for decades now being used in wound care. Research has proven that stem cells regenerate into skin, muscle, bone, and even cartilage. Now, using amniotic stem cells, their application is providing new life for suffers of joint pain, especially due to arthritis.
Amniotic stem cells have proven particularly effective as an alternative to surgical joint replacement for knees and hips, the most common areas affected by arthritis. Certain properties of the amniotic cells lend themselves perfectly to pain reduction without the need for joint replacement. By the very nature of the cells’ nurturing “home” environment, the amniotic sac, cells contains high concentrations of anti-inflammatory properties as well as growth factors, both of which, painlessly target and remedy joint pain. In addition, hyaluronic acid, naturally found in joint fluid, and also a property of amniotic stem cells, works to regenerate and repair naturally.
Amniotic stem cell procedures are administered by certified physicians, right in the office. Research indicates no recipient rejection of the amniotic stem cells, as the body naturally assimilates its presence in the regenerative process. Thousands of procedure have been performed at Stem Cell Centers of Excellence, with no rejection or even infection seen to date.
Ethical concerns are assuaged in knowing amniotic stem cells that are extracted from amniotic membrane from scheduled cesarean births with full consent of the donors. Rich in life sustaining properties, the amniotic sac feeds and nurtures a baby from conception to birth, and is traditionally discarded after birth.
With full consent of and disclosure to all parties, now the life giving properties of amniotic cells will be enriching lives in perpetuity. Eliminating the controversy raised in embryonic stem cell research, the restorative results realized in amniotic joint therapy makes it a viable alternative to joint replacement surgery.
Amniotic fluid contains the following beneficial qualities:
- Hyaluronic Acid – present naturally in human joints, it can help relieve pain and improve function
- Stem Cells – amniotic fluid contains exponentially more stem cells than adult bone marrow or fat.
- Growth Factors – amniotic fluid contains a full range of growth factors. It supplied them to the growing baby and they can work wonders for joint, cartilage and soft tissue repair.
- Anti-Inflammatory Properties – amniotic fluid maintains non-inflammatory properties, while at the same time being non-steroidal.
- Scaffold – Amniotic fluid provides a micro-scaffold for tissue repair and remodeling.
The Products that we use
What you need to know about platelet rich plasma therapy
Here is how the treatment works. Initially, a simple blood draw is performed from the patient of anywhere between 30 and 60 mL. Usually it’s taken from an arm just like it would be at a lab. This blood is then placed in a centrifuge machine and spun rapidly for 12 to 15 minutes.
This will separate the blood into three distinct layers. It is the middle layer that consists of concentrated platelets and growth factors in the blood. By the time this middle layer is separated from the rest, 5 to 10 mL results out of the whole blood draw.
The definition of platelet-rich plasma is plasma that has a concentration of platelets way above the normal blood levels. Once the PRP is separated from the rest of the sample, it is then injected under sterile conditions into the region being treated.
How does PRP therapy work?
PRP therapy itself does not contain many stem cells. However, once injected it acts as an attractant for the body’s own stem cells to come in and help with the repair. Patients who undergo PRP therapy typically do so in an effort to avoid surgery and to heal faster. This may include PRP therapy for the knee, hip, ankle or shoulder to avoid a joint replacement. Or it may include platelet rich plasma for rotator cuff tendinitis, Achilles tendonitis, a ligament injury to the knee or any soft tissue condition where surgery is an absolute last resort such as plantar fasciitis.
The outcomes with PRP therapy have been excellent in the small studies reported. Patients may have increased pain for a couple days due to the inflammation generated, then pain relief typically kicks in. A series of 2 to 3 injections may be necessary over a six-month time for optimal results.
A recent study out of Hospital for Special Surgery showed PRP therapy provides excellent pain relief for those with mild to moderate knee arthritis pain. The majority of patients in that study saw no cartilage breakdown over a period of a year with only one PRP therapy injection.
Another recent study was published in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine looking at PRP therapy for chronic tennis elbow. In that study, 28 out of 30 patients were able to avoid surgery for tennis elbow when undergoing PRP therapy as a last resort. It was a remarkable finding.
Minimal risk is associated with platelet-rich plasma therapy. It is the patient’s own blood, and it’s injected back into the body shortly after being drawn. There’s a minor risk of infection.
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