Introduction 2017-08-15T12:23:23+00:00

Regenomedix’s goal is to inform you about allograft products as a substitute to traditional pain management and surgery. Not all the information here will apply to your individual patient’s treatment or its outcome. The information is intended to answer some of your questions and serve as a stimulus for you and your practice as a possible addition to your current therapies.

THE POWER OF STEM CELLS

introStem cells have the remarkable potential to develop into many different cell types in the body during early life and growth. In addition, in many tissues they serve as a sort of internal repair system, dividing essentially without limit to replenish other cells as long as the person or animal is still alive. When a stem cell divides, each new cell has the potential either to remain a stem cell or become another type of cell with a more specialized function, such as a muscle cell, a red blood cell, or a brain cell.

Stem cells are distinguished from other cell types by two important characteristics. First, they are unspecialized cells capable of renewing themselves through cell division sometimes after long periods of inactivity. Second, under certain physiologic or experimental conditions, they can be induced to become tissue- or organ-specific cells with special functions. In some organs, such as the gut and bone marrow, stem cells regularly divide to repair and replace worn out or damaged tissues. In other organs, however, such as the pancreas and the heart, stem cells only divide under special conditions.

In 2006, researchers made a breakthrough by identifying conditions that would allow some specialized adult cells to be “reprogrammed” genetically to assume a stem cell-like state. This new type of stem cell, is called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs).

Stem cells are important for living organisms for many reasons. In the 3- to 5-day-old embryo, called a blastocyst, the inner cells give rise to the entire body of the organism, including all of the many specialized cell types and organs such as the heart, lungs, skin, sperm, eggs and other tissues. In some adult tissues, such as bone marrow, muscle, and brain, discrete populations of adult stem cells generate replacements for cells that are lost through normal wear and tear, injury, or disease. Given their unique regenerative abilities, stem cells offer new potentials for treating diseases such as diabetes, and heart disease. However, much work remains to be done in the laboratory and the clinic to understand how to use these cells for cell-based therapies to treat disease, which is also referred to as regenerative or reparative medicine.

Laboratory studies of stem cells enable scientists to learn about the cells’ essential properties and what makes them different from specialized cell types. Scientists are already using stem cells in the laboratory to screen new drugs and to develop model systems to study normal growth and identify the causes of birth defects.

Research on stem cells continues to advance knowledge about how an organism develops from a single cell and how healthy cells replace damaged cells in adult organisms. Stem cell research is one of the most fascinating areas of contemporary biology, but, as with many expanding fields of scientific inquiry, research on stem cells raises scientific questions as rapidly as it generates new discoveries.

What is Regenerative Medicine?

Regenerative medicine offers alternative solutions to costly surgeries and offers hope for people with  conditions that today are beyond repair.

 

Current Treatments Utilizing Regenerative Medicine

types

Osteoarthritis of the joints including knee, hip, shoulder and ankle joints

Chronic partial rotator cuff tears, muscular tears, persistent partial tendon tears, such as tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis, quadriceps and patellar tendon tears

Meniscal (cartilage) tears in the knee, Sacroiliac joint pain, Chronic radiculopathy (pinched nerve), Discogenic back pain, Spinal facet pain

Aseptic Processing

Aseptic processing is crucial for biologic-based products as we strive to maintain the viability of the cellular components, growth factors and protein messengers. Aseptic techniques are deployed to ensure the absence of pathogenic organisms so as to protect the patient from infection and to prevent the spread of pathogens. If during processing these cells were destroyed and the proteins denatured, they would no longer be viable and their usefulness would be negated.

In an aseptic process, the container/closure is subjected to sterilization methods separately, as appropriate, and then brought together with the biologic allograft. Because there is no process to sterilize the product in its final container, it is crucial the containers be filled and sealed under the most stringent aseptic technique possible.

The goal of aseptic processing is to minimize the risk of introducing any microbial contaminant into our product as it moves through the manufacturing process. We must be absolutely certain that there is no microbial contamination of the final sealed product. We utilize various approved techniques to ensure our allograft products are free of contaminants, thereby reducing the risk of infection to the patient.

 INVESTIGATING THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF STEM CELLS

Embryonic
Stem Cells

Embryonic stem cells are obtained from the inner cell mass of the blastocyst, a mainly hollow ball of cells that, in the human, forms three to five days after an egg cell is fertilized by a sperm. A human blastocyst is about the size of the dot above this “i.” In normal development, the cells inside the inner cell mass will give rise to the more specialized cells that give rise to the entire body—all of our tissues and organs. However, when scientists extract the inner cell mass and grow these cells in special laboratory conditions, they retain the properties of embryonic stem cells. Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent, meaning they can give rise to every cell type in the fully formed body, but not the placenta and umbilical cord. These cells are incredibly valuable because they provide a renewable resource for studying normal development and disease, and for testing drugs and other therapies. Human embryonic stem cells have been derived primarily from blastocysts created by in vitro fertilization (IVF) for assisted reproduction that were no longer needed.

Tissue Specific
Stem Cells

Tissue-specific stem cells (also referred to as somatic or adult stem cells) are more specialized than embryonic stem cells. Typically, these stem cells can generate different cell types for the specific tissue or organ in which they live. For example, blood-forming (or hematopoietic) stem cells in the bone marrow can give rise to red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. However, blood-forming stem cells don’t generate liver or lung or brain cells, and stem cells in other tissues and organs don’t generate red or white blood cells or platelets. Tissue-specific stem cells can be difficult to find in the human body, and they don’t seem to self-renew in culture as easily as embryonic stem cells do. However, study of these cells has increased our general knowledge about normal development, what changes in aging, and what happens with injury and disease.

Induced Pluripotent
Stem Cells

Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells are cells that have been engineered in the lab by converting tissue-specific cells, such as skin cells, into cells that behave like embryonic stem cells. IPS cells are critical tools to help scientists learn more about normal development and disease onset and progression, and they are also useful for developing and testing new drugs and therapies.

Mesenchymal
Stem Cells

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are adult stem cells traditionally found in the bone marrow. However, mesenchymal stem cells can also be isolated from other tissues including cord blood, peripheral blood, fallopian tube, and fetal liver and lung. Multipotent stem cells, MSCs differentiate to form adipocytes, cartilage, bone, tendons, muscle, and skin.