Stem cell therapy is thought to mediate repair via five primary mechanisms: 1) providing an anti-inflammatory effect, 2) homing to damaged tissues and recruiting other cells, such as endothelial progenitor cells, that are necessary for tissue growth, 3) supporting tissue remodeling over scar formation, 4) inhibiting apoptosis, and 5) differentiating into bone, cartilage, tendon, and ligament tissue.
To further enrich blood supply to the damaged areas, and consequently promote tissue regeneration, platelet-rich plasma is often used in conjunction with stem cell transplantation. The efficacy of some stem cell populations may also be affected by the method of delivery; for instance, to regenerate bone, stem cells are often introduced in a scaffold where they produce the minerals necessary for generation of functional bone.
Most stem cells intended for regenerative therapy are generally isolated either from the patient’s bone marrow or from adipose tissue. The number of stem cells transplanted into damaged tissue may alter efficacy of treatment. It is thought that bone-marrow derived stem cells are preferred for bone, cartilage, ligament, and tendon repair.
New sources of mesenchymal stem cells are being researched, including stem cells present in the skin and dermis which are of interest because of the ease at which they can be harvested with minimal risk to the animal. Hematopoetic stem cells have also been discovered to be travelling in the blood stream and possess equal differentiating ability as other mesenchymal stem cells, again with a very non-invasive harvesting technique.
Do you have an injury and think stem cell therapy might help? Has your injury been unresponsive to other, more conservative and traditional approaches? Are you looking to avoid surgery? If so, please call West Coast Center for Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine today to schedule a consultation. Call 310-416-9700 and ask about a minimally-invasive stem cell solution.