Stemcelldoc's Weblog

February 14, 2009

Adult Stem Cells

What are adult stem cells? They are cells within our body that can renew themselves and turn into other cells (differentiate).   Conceptually they can be thought of as the repairmen of the body. They live inside us in various tissues, poised to leap into action to repair damage as it occurs.  The problem is that as we age or get larger injuries,  our bodies are unable to recruit sufficient number of stem cells to fully  repair the area of damage.

There are many different types of adult stem cells but the most common are called hematopoetic stem cells.  What does this mean.  These are adult stem cells that will change (differentiate) into blood (hematopoetic)  products such as red blood cells or platelet.  Hematopoetic stem cells are easy to obtain from a peripheral blood or from bone marrow.  They are very plentiful in both blood and bone marrow. Unfortunately many ” stem cell therapies” are employing these hematopoetic stem cells due to the abundance and ease to access.  Such is the case with bone marrow aspirate concentrates which are bedside units that concentrate cells obtained from one’s bone marrow. 

Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate Unit

Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate Unit

 Unfortunately for patients, despite the advertised claims, these cells can only differentiate into blood products.

Stem cells associated with regeneration of damaged tendon, ligament, bone or disc are termed mesenchymal stem cell (MSC). 

Mesenchymal Stem Cell

Mesenchymal Stem Cell

 MSC’s can not be harvested from blood nor can they be obtained in clinically significant numbers from bedside bone marrow aspirate concentrates.  Herein lies the critical difference between current therapy and RegenexxRegenexx isolates MSC’s and then expands them so that you as a patient have the critical number of MSC’s to repair damaged tissue.  Regnexx uses your own stem cells and expands them for a variety of orthopedic aplications.

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