Regenerative medicine is based on the belief that damaged tissues and organs can be repaired and restored to proper levels of function by using the power of human cells. These cells are capable of repairing themselves, regenerating tissue and restoring optimal function. Common therapies include Stem Cells and Platelet-Rich Plasma to regrow and heal injuries.
STEM CELL THERAPY
Stem Cell Therapy uses the concept of cells regenerative capabilities to repair injuries. One of the most obvious examples of cell regeneration is in the skin, when a cut or wound heals itself very quickly.
Stem Cell Therapy is used to treat neck or low back pain that occurs from degeneration of the discs in the vertebrae or joint pain as a result of osteoarthritis in the knees, hips, or shoulders. Your (the patient’s) own adult stem cells are extracted, purified, concentrated, and then injected into the damaged tissue. This process is usually non-surgical resulting in a quick recovery time.
The future of this research includes the generation of cells that could be used to replace damaged tissue or the generation of transplantable organs. Researchers are working toward the development of engineered tissue that requires greater vascularization and could potentially treat diseases, such as macular degeneration, stroke, osteoarthritis, spinal cord injury, and diabetes.
Platelet-Rich Therapy it is used to treat a number of different conditions in which the you’ve developed chronic pain. The procedure requires an injection of autologous growth factors, secretory proteins, and concentrated platelets. These compounds work in unison to repair damaged tissue and speed the healing of surgical procedures.
In addition to the use of platelet-rich plasma therapy in pain management, the procedure is also widely used in healing bone grafts and fractures, in plastic surgery, and wound care. The success experienced in healing fractures spurred the integration of platelet-rich plasma therapy in other orthopedic conditions and sports medicine for connective tissue repair. Reduction in pain at two years post-treatment for chronic tendinitis was reported at 93%. The treatment received media attention after Pittsburgh Steelers’ wide receiver Hines Ward received the treatment for medial collateral ligament sprain and went on to win the Super Bowl that year.
The injection of platelet-rich plasma to an injured area delivers growth factors concentrated from five to ten times greater than is normally found in plasma. The compound is prepared through withdrawal of blood from the patient, centrifugation to increase the concentration, and then injected into the area that was damaged or injured. When the blood is centrifuged, it separates into three different components. The top layer is clear serum, platelets and white blood cells are found in the middle, and the red blood cells are at the bottom.
Platelets contain a high concentration of growth factor, which is central to the function of platelet-rich plasma therapy in regenerative medicine for pain management. Once injected into the damaged area, the platelets release other proteins that are believed to affect the regenerative influence patients experience after treatment. This process enhances the differentiation of cells, which is believed to be the underlying process required for the generation of new tissue.