Over the last decade, the field of stem cell therapy has grown in research and awareness. This growth is thanks to mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs,) the type of cells most commonly explored for their powerful reparative properties. Medical professionals can harvest and concentrate these MSCs from multiple sources, making them more accessible. As a result, stem cells can be used as a form of regenerative medicine. This intervention offers potential benefits for patients suffering from neurodegenerative, orthopedic, and autoimmune conditions. This article will outline some basic information about MSCs and how Mesenchymal stem cells repair.
Basic Biology of MSCs
Stem cells are a unique type of cell. Unlike other cells, MSCs can divide into daughter cells and then transform into specialized cells such as those found in bone, brain matter, and soft tissue. Stem cells can be divided into two broad categories, embryonic and adult stem cells.
Adult stem cells are the primary type used in modern medical interventions. When adult stem cells were initially discovered, scientists believed they were only present in the bone marrow.
While bone marrow aspirate can be an ideal source of stem cells, they are also present in adipose tissue, dental pulp, the kidneys, amniotic fluid, and the amniotic membrane. However, they are primarily harvested from adipose tissue, bone marrow, or umbilical cords.
MSCs’ Reparative Properties
Stem cells are naturally present in the human body. However, the concentration of these valuable cells is reduced as people age. As a result, older individuals typically have longer recovery times from injuries and are more prone to degenerative conditions.
Mesenchymal stem cells allow medical professionals to circumvent this natural degradation. They can harvest stem cells, concentrate them, and then administer them to a specific location, such as the site of an injury. Once administered, the stem cells will seek out inflammation and repair damaged tissue, thereby accelerating the natural healing process.
The Harvesting Process
Before they can be administered, stem cells must be harvested. Many patients opt for autologous stem cell therapy. This treatment involves the concentration of stem cells derived from the patient’s existing body tissues.
When preparing to harvest stem cells, the provider usually administers a local anesthetic. The provider will then harvest either bone marrow aspirate or adipose (fat) tissue depending on the preference and treatment plan. The stem cells are processed, concentrated, and administered back to the patient to targeted areas.
Stem cells have the potential to supplement the patient’s healing capabilities for six months to a year. This intervention can be utilized to treat many different conditions and may offer patients an alternative to traditional options or in conjunction with. If you would like to learn more about how Mesenchymal Stem Cells repair, contact us today!