How Stem Cells Work

Adipose stem cells are “blank,” or undifferentiated, cells that an adult’s body creates to replace dying cells or heal damaged tissue. Once collected in a nearly painless procedure from naturally occurring fatty deposits, these stem cells can be reintroduced into specific areas of the body to regenerate healthy cells and accelerate the body’s healing processes.

At KRMC, we never use embryonic stem cells. We use your own naturally occurring, adult Adipose-derived, Mesenchymal stem cells. These remarkable cells are able to differentiate into a variety of cell types, including bone, cartilage, muscle and fat cells, that can promote healing and reduce pain and inflammation.

 

Realizing the potential to accelerate healing

In a single four-hour session, our physicians can collect and deploy your Adipose stem cells to affected areas in your body. We use a nearly pain-free collection of stem cells from your own natural fatty deposits, rather than from a more painful, time-consuming bone marrow extraction.

Adult adipose stem cells from naturally occurring fatty deposits are abundant in quantities up to 2,500 times those found in bone marrow. The abundance of these stem cells allows for multiple treatments on the same day — something impossible with bone marrow extraction. Our procedure requires only local anesthesia and, in most cases, recovery is almost immediate.

As we learn more about the workings of stem cells and increase our ability to apply medical breakthroughs, we are realizing the remarkable therapeutic potential stem cells can have to help the body heal itself. Adult stem cells have been used for a variety of medical treatments to repair and regenerate acute and chronically damaged tissues — from joint and muscle injuries to cardiac and pulmonary conditions to autoimmune disorders.

Types of Stem Cells

 

Adult Stem Cells

In regenerative medicine today, adult stem cells hold the most promise for cell-based therapies. There are two main types of stem cells, adult and embryonic, which require unique means of collection and deployment.

Early research in the field was often associated with the controversial use of embryonic stem cells. Today, the cutting-edge of the science focuses on Mesenchymal stem cells found in an adult’s blood, bone marrow and fatty deposits. At KRMC we never use embryonic stem cells.

Adipose Stem Cells

Cell therapy around the world is shifting its focus from bone marrow based cells to adipose (fat) derived cells. These cells are easy to obtain and are generally robust. Adipose fat is an abundant and reliable source of stem cells. The best quality adipose cells are derived from the enzymatic digestion of liposuctioned fat which can be performed in a nearly painless, outpatient procedure.

  • Autologous, adipose stem cells from a person’s own fat are easy to collect using only local anesthesia
  • These stem cells are abundant in quantities up to 2,500 times those seen in bone marrow
  • The abundance of these naturally occurring stem cells allows for multiple treatments on the same day — something impossible with bone marrow extraction

The quality of stem cells deployed appear to be related directly to the clinical success and favorable outcomes of a procedure. Once adipose derived stem cells are deployed into an affected area of a patient body, the cells have the potential to:

  • Repair human tissue by influencing healing and forming new cells of mesenchymal origin, such as cartilage, bone, ligaments, tendons, nerve, fat, muscle, blood vessels, and certain internal organs
  • Form cartilage and bone, which makes them potentially highly effective in the treatment of degenerative orthopedic conditions
  • Form new blood vessels and other tissues, which makes them suitable for mitigating a large number of traumatic and degenerative conditions
 

Bone Marrow Derived Stem Cells

While Mesenchymal stem cells derived from bone marrow offer the same benefits as Adipose derived stem cells, there are two reasons KRMC does not currently collect stem cells from bone marrow.

  • Collecting stem cells from bone marrow is a more painful process lasting as long as 10 days. The procedure usually involves multiple injections over the course of several days.
  • Stem cells in bone marrow are far less abundant than stem cells appearing in fatty deposits. Adipose stem cells from fat are abundant in quantities up to 2,500 times those seen in bone marrow.
 

A Comparison: Bone Marrow and Adipose

Adult Stem cells are obtained by different methods, each offering a different experience. The two most common methods are the older, bone marrow derived method and the increasingly popular Fat (Adipose) derived method.

Whether adult mesenchymal stem cells come from bone marrow or from fat does not appear to make a difference in clinical results. Some centers claim that bone marrow derived cells are superior to fat derived cells but there is no clinical evidence to substantiate this claim. While there are more studies on bone marrow cells, there is no evidence as to their clinical superiority.

It is important to understand that the word “bone” in bone marrow is sometimes used to implying that an “orthopedic source” “might be better” for treating orthopedic conditions such as cartilage regeneration. In fact, bone marrow is part of the reticulo-endothelial system and happens to be found in the center of bone. All of these types of cells are equally undifferentiated and have the potential to differentiate into mature functional tissues.

For many disease types such as cardiac pathology, adipose derived cells appear to be showing superiority to bone marrow derived cells. This may be related to the well documented qualitative and quantitative attrition in bone marrow stem cell counts related to age and chronic illness (chronic disease causes bone marrow suppression). Such changes in the number of cells over time and the quality of cells dependent on health have not been seen in fat derived stem cells. Fat derived cells are a natural choice for our investigatory work considering their easy and rapid availability in extremely high numbers.

 

Other Stem Cell Types

 

Embryonic Stem Cells

At KRMC, we never use embryonic stem cells. Embryonic (ES) Stem cells are isolated from the inner cell mass of blastocysts of preimplantation-stage embryos. These cells require specific signals to differentiate to the desired cell type. If simply injected directly, they will differentiate into many different types of cells, resulting in a tumor derived from this abnormal pluripotent cell development (a teratoma). The directed differentiation of ES cells and avoidance of transplant rejection are just two of the hurdles that ES cell researchers still face. In addition, Embryonic stem cells are associated with ethical considerations and limitations.

“Amniotic” stem cells

KRMC does not use amniotic stem cells. Commercially available sources of stem cells, such as “amniotic” products, are not collected from one’s own body. These cells are gamma radiated by manufacturers and are, therefore, not live cells.

Advancing Access and Quality Care

At KRMC, we are at the forefront of stem cell technology and research with a focus on advancing access and quality care in the area of adult stem cell regenerative medicine. It is our mission to help people suffering from a variety of inflammatory and degenerative conditions. Our research and experience, as well as an ever increasing list of unbiased, peer reviewed medical journals and articles, continue to indicate that adult, Adipose tissue-derived stem cells are the future of regenerative medicine.

A rapidly evolving field

The use of stem cells is not FDA approved for the treatment of any specific disease in the United States at this time and their use is therefore investigational. Many reputable international centers have been using stem cell therapy to treat various chronic degenerative conditions as diverse as severe neurologic diseases, renal failure, erectile dysfunction, degenerative orthopedic problems, and even cardiac and pulmonary diseases. Adult stem cells appear to be particularly effective at repairing cartilage in degenerated joints, especially knees and hips.

 
 
 
 
 

Are You a Candidate?

Stem cell therapy is helping people get back to doing what they love — faster and without surgery.

 
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