Why bank your stem cells?

What can I use my stem cells for?

Stem cells, specifically those taken from adult fat called Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSC), offer you a multitude of potential and emerging applications in regenerative medicine; and for many intractable afflictions.

As MSC are found in abundance in your own fat it's now possible for a physician to harvest a small sample of your own fat (5ml to 10ml) in a short outpatient procedure; and for reDermis® to isolate the MSC from your fat to cryopreserve these stem cells almost indefinitely for your personal use.

It may sound 'to good to be true' that one type of stem cell can do so much, but it's a fact of medical science that MSC have many applications in regenerative medicine; and their safety and efficacy have been confirmed by a large number of pre-clinical and clinical studies. 'Mother Nature' gave our own stem cells a therapeutic power that is far greater than science can hope to replicate; we should take advantage of the potential that belongs to ourselves.

Infographic showing potential applications of MSC if you decide to bank your own versatile stem cells from your own fat with reDermis®:

What is aesthetic skin repair?

Until recently aesthetics was concerned with masking the visible effects to skin of internal (e.g. aging) and external (e.g. UV light) damage with the likes of face-lifts and botoxins. Differently, aesthetic skin repair is concerned with preventing and repairing damage by employing the natural mechanisms that your body already has at its disposal, for a longer term solution to your aesthetic needs.

Why might I need to store my own stem cells for aesthetic skin repair?

Medical science has demonstrated that adipose derived mesenchymal stem cells (AdMSC) secretory factors can reverse human skin aging (light wrinkles, UV light damage, collagen loss, rough skin) by repairing the local stem cell niches that maintain the skin itself. Combined with derma needling or a (non-ablative) pinhole laser therapy, deep wrinkles can also be modified with cell-based therapy.

What is multiple sclerosis (MS)?

Multiple sclerosis is an incurable, fickle disease of the central nervous system which is made up of the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. It can be viewed as an immune-mediated disorder where the body's immune system wrongly attacks the healthy cells of the central nervous system. Myelin, the protective sheath covering nerve fibres, gets attacked by the immune system resulting in a lack of communication between one's brain and the rest of their body. Nerves could eventually become directly affected and damaged.

Why might I store my stem cells for multiple sclerosis treatments?

With the use of mesenchymal stem cells in the treatment of MS showed an increase in optic nerve area which is consistent with the promotion of myelin repair. Furthermore, stem cells can promote the endogenous CNS repair processes of oligodendrogenesis (the formation of cells in the nervous system) and remyelination (formation of precursor cells needed for the creation of myelin sheaths).

  1. Feasibility of Cell Therapy in Multiple Sclerosis: A Systematic Review of 83 Studies. International Journal of Hematology- Oncology and Stem Cell Research [Internet]. 2013;Volume 7(Number 1). Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3913133
  2. Stem cell treatment for patients with autoimmune disease by systemic infusion of culture-expanded autologous adipose tissue derived mesenchymal stem cells. Journal of Translational Medicine [Internet]. 2011 [cited 26 January 2016];1(181). Available from: L http://www.translational-medicine.com/content/9/1/181
  3. Connick P, Kolappan M, Crawley C, Webber D, Patani R, Michell A et al. Autologous mesenchymal stem cells for the treatment of secondary progressive multiple sclerosis: an open-label phase 2a proof-of-concept study. The Lancet Neurology. 2012;11(2):150-156.

What are bone defects (calvarial bone defects)?

Bone defects is a general term defining illnesses which result after the destruction of vital components of the bone thereby leaving a lack of bone tissue in an area where bone should normally prevail. The most common cause is a trauma followed by infection however, certain diseases such as osteomyelitis may result in the same effects.

Why might I store my stem cells for the treatment of bone defects?

Stem cell therapy combined with an osteoconductive scaffold or osteoinductive protein allows for bone regeneration. Mesenchymal stem cells can be genetically modified to produce growth factors for both bone and blood vessels production. Once stem cells are combined with the healing process the amount of time for the restoration of bone decreases allowing for a shorter recovery time.

  1. Dahlgren L. Cartilage Resurfacing: Unresolved Enigma: Commentary on an article by L.R. Goodrich, DVM, PhD, et al.: "Addition of Mesenchymal Stem Cells to Autologous Platelet-Enhanced Fibrin Scaffolds in Chondral Defects. Does It Enhance Repair?". The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery. 2016;98(1):e5-e5.
  2. Tripathy SK, Behera P, Sen RK, Goyal T. Application of stem cells in orthopaedic conditions: what is the current evidence? OA Orthopaedics 2013 May 01;1(1):3.

What are periodontal diseases?

Inflammation of the tooth-supporting structures composed of gingiva, cementum, periodontal ligament and the alveolar bone are characteristics of periodontal diseases. Gingivitis is a mild form of a periodontal disease as bacteria on the teeth cause the gums to become inflamed. Gingivitis can take on a more serious form known as periodontitis where the gums pull away from the teeth forming small pockets which then become infected and frequently causes tooth loss.

Why might I store my stem cells for periodontal diseases?

The ultimate goal in treating periodontal diseases is the regeneration of damaged periodontal tissues. Conventional methods such as surgery focus mainly on the repair of the gingival connective tissues and the coronal portion of the periodontal ligament, however, no repair is conducted on the cementum and alveolar bone, now in conjunction with bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSC's) experiments concluded that new cementum was formed on the roots surface. Stem cells prove to be a promising tool in the regeneration of periodontal structures such as periodontal ligaments.

  1. Pejcic A, Kojovic D, Mirkovic D, Minic I. Stem Cells for Periodontal Regeneration. Balkan Journal of Medical Genetics. 2013;16(1)
  2. Kim S, Seo B, Choung P, Lee Y. Adult Stem Cell Therapy for Periodontal Disease. Int J Stem Cells. 2010;3(1):16-21.

What are peripheral vascular diseases?

Diseases of the blood vessels around the body excluding that of the heart and brain are referred to as peripheral vascular diseases. Typically arteries supplying blood to the limbs and organs below the stomach are affected. Arteriosclerosis causes plague to build up in the blood vessels and is a common cause for the narrowing of arteries, therefore, oxygen supply to the body parts is decreased along with an increased risk of clot formation.

Why might5 I store my stem cells for treatment of peripheral vascular disease?

Stem cells can be injected into damaged tissue to stimulate the growth of blood vessels thereby repairing circulatory problems. In addition to stem cells ability of differentiating and incorporating into tissue, they are able to recruit growth factors needed for the growth of new blood vessels along with the repair of inadequate ones.

  1. Liew A, O'Brien T. Therapeutic potential for mesenchymal stem cell transplantation in critical limb ischemia. Stem Cell Research & Therapy. 2012;3(4):28.
  2. Lasala G, Minguell J. Vascular disease and stem cell therapies. British Medical Bulletin. 2011;98(1):187-197.

What are skeletal muscle injuries?

Muscle pain may result when the muscle tears or becomes strained and is most commonly due to sport-related injuries. Three stages can be observed in the recovery of the damaged muscle, an inflammatory phase, repair phase and the remodelling phase, however, recovery can be interrupted due to the formation of scar tissue. Interventions such as physiotherapy and medication may be needed to restore muscle function.

Why might I store my stem cells for treatment of skeletal muscle injuries?

Stem cells are able to home at the site of the injured muscle and release anti-inflammatory agents which can reduce the swelling of the muscles. They are also capable of releasing growth factors which speed up the repair process allowing patients to continue with required tasks. With the use of stem cell injections, the need for surgery can be eliminated in certain instances along with the adverse side effects accompanied with surgery.

  1. Ramon Peçanha, et. al. (2012). Adipose-Derived Stem-Cell Treatment of Skeletal Muscle Injury. J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2012 Apr 04; 94 (7): 609 -617
  2. Barba, et. al. (2013). Adipose-Derived Mesenchymal Cells for Bone Regeneration: State of the Art. BioMed Research International.

What are sports injuries?

Sport injuries occur as a consequence of inadequate training, incorrect sport's wear or accidents. Warming up before beginning a certain sport may also lead to a sports injury such as strains. Knee injuries, fractures, dislocations and muscular swellings are among the most common types of injuries occurring while commencing in a specific sport. Injuries may worsen if strenuous activity continues and play should rather be forfeited. Certain sports injuries may lead to long-term side effects or chronic illnesses.

Why might I store my stem cells for the use of sport injury treatments?

Mesenchymal stem cells have the ability to alter a microenvironment around damaged tissues by secreting growth factors and anti-inflammatory agents which stimulate the regeneration of new tissue. Certain sports injuries may require hip replacements, mesenchymal stem cells contribute to the increase of bone formation around the transplanted area. Mesenchymal stem cells overall aid in the process of repair and allow for a decrease in the waiting period before the participation in sports may continue.

  1. Phuc Van Pham, P.V., et al. (2013). Activated platelet-rich plasma improves adipose-derived stem cell transplantation efficiency in injured articular cartilage. Stem Cell Research & Therapy, 4:91.
  2. Dave, L. Y. H., et. al. (2011). Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy in the Sports Knee: Where Are We in 2011?
  3. Ajibade, D. A., et. al. (2014). Emerging Applications of Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine to Sports Injuries. The Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine, 2(2), 2325967113519935.
  4. Bornes, T.D., et. al. (2014). Mesenchymal stem cells in the treatment of traumatic articular cartilage defects: a comprehensive review. Arthritis Research & Therapy, 16:432.
  5. Freitag, J., et al. (2015). Adipose derived mesenchymal stem cell therapy in the treatment of isolated knee chondral lesions: design of a randomised controlled pilot study comparing arthroscopic microfracture versus arthroscopic microfracture combined with postoperative mesenchymal stem cell injections. BMJ Open 2015;5:e009332. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2015-009332.
  6. Mora, M. V., et. al. (2015). Stem cell therapy in the management of shoulder rotator cuff disorders. World J Stem Cells; 7(4): 691-699.
  7. Nau, T.,and Teuschl, A. (2015). Regeneration of the anterior cruciate ligament: Current strategies in tissue engineering. World J Orthop., 8; 6(1): 127-136.
  8. Sun, Z., et. al. (2015). Adipose-Derived Stromal Cells Protect Intervertebral Disc Cells in Compression: Implications for Stem Cell Regenerative Disc Therapy. Int. J. Biol. Sci., Vol. 11.
  9. Yu, H., et. al. (2015). Meniscus repair using mesenchymal stem cells - a comprehensive review. Stem Cell Research & Therapy, 6: 86.

What are stretch marks?

When a person's body grows quickly and the skin stretches fine lines form on the body known as stretch marks. They are generated from the tearing of the dermis which may diminish but not disappear over time. Cortisone (a hormone of the adrenal gland) weakens elastic fibres in the skin causing more extreme cases of stretch marks. Laser therapy, dermabrasion and prescription retinoids have been shown to improve the appearance of existing stretch marks.

Why might I store my stem cells for stretch mark repair?

Stem cells are able to restore the growth of collagen in the skin which helps diminish the signs of stretch marks. Stem cells contained in the blood combined with a micro needling technique, to puncture holes in the skin and introduce the stem cells into the intended stretch marked areas, result in the visible reduction of stretch marks. This is a pain-free, non-surgical procedure without the need of medications making it a growing choice to patients.

  1. Lee H, Lee E, Kang S, Sung J, Chung H, Kim D. Efficacy of Microneedling Plus Human Stem Cell Conditioned Medium for Skin Rejuvenation: A Randomized, Controlled, Blinded Split-Face Study. Annals of Dermatology. 2014;26(5):584.
  2. Martins P, Uebel C, Machado D, Silva J. Adipose tissue mature stem cells in skin healing: a controlled randomized study. Rev Bras Cir Plást (Impr). 2011;26(3):394-401.
  3. Sung, H. M., et. al. (2012). Case Reports of Adipose-derived Stem Cell Therapy for Nasal Skin Necrosis after Filler Injection. Arch Plast Surg.;39:51-54

What causes hair loss and treatments associated with hair growth?

Hair loss is common and natural as people grow older, however, certain diseases, stress, medication and genetic history may cause the premature loss of hair. One method of hair growth is hair transplants which can be done by removing hair follicles from a dense area of hair and transplanting it to one where hair may be lacking. Hair growth helps relieve the stress people acquire from the undesired aesthetic appeal associated with the loss of hair.

Why might I store my stem cells for hair growth?

An exceptional development in the aesthetic field has taken place with the harvesting of adipose-derived stem cells (ADSC's). It was found that ADSC conditioned medium (ADSC-CM) shows a positive trend in skin and hair regeneration. With the use of ADSC-CM and applying an approach known as hair regenerative therapy, increased hair growth is accomplished with satisfying results. This therapy proves to be a valuable tool as it does not require specialized facilities, for instance, a cell-processing centre.

  1. Dong L, Hao H, Xia L, Liu J, Ti D, Tong C et al. Treatment of MSCs with Wnt1a-conditioned medium activates DP cells and promotes hair follicle regrowth. Sci Rep. 2014;4.
  2. Fukuoka H, Suga H, Narita K, Watanabe R, Shintani S. The Latest Advance in Hair Regeneration Therapy Using Proteins Secreted by Adipose-Derived Stem Cells. American Journal of Cosmetic Surgery. 2012;29(4):273-282.

What is a liver insufficiency?

Liver insufficiency or liver failure refers to the inability of the liver to perform its normal functions due to the damage of large parts of the liver beyond repair. Acute and chronic liver failure is recognized- acute liver failure accredits the quick development of liver dysfunction without any prior diseases and chronic liver failure refers to the insufficient function of the liver due to long-term damage.

Why might I store my stem cell for liver insufficiency treatment?

Many patients require a liver transplant however costs, donor availability and rejection pose a risk factor. Adipose stem cells have been shown to differentiate into hepatocytes in the injured liver as well as contribute to liver regeneration and repair buying time for patients waiting for donors to complete a liver transplant and eventually the potential to replace organ transplants with stem cell transplants.

  1. Shi M, Zhang Z, Xu R, Lin H, Fu J, Zou Z et al. Human Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transfusion Is Safe and Improves Liver Function in Acute-on-Chronic Liver Failure Patients. Stem Cells Translational Medicine. 2012;1(10):725-731.
  2. Zhao Q, Ren H, Zhu D, Han Z. Stem/progenitor cells in liver injury repair and regeneration. Biology of the cell. 2009;101(10):557-571.
  3. Liu W, Song F, Ren L, Guo W, Wang T, Feng Y et al. The multiple functional roles of mesenchymal stem cells in participating in treating liver diseases. J Cell Mol Med. 2014;19(3):511-520.
  4. Lindroos B, Suuronen R, Miettinen S. The Potential of Adipose Stem Cells in Regenerative Medicine. Stem Cell Rev and Rep. 2010;7(2):269-291.
  5. Puglisi M, Tesori V, Lattanzi W, Piscaglia A, Gasbarrini G, D'Ugo D et al. Therapeutic Implications of Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Liver Injury. Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology. 2011;2011:1-8.
  6. Berardis S, Sattwika P, Najimi M, Sokal E. Use of mesenchymal stem cells to treat liver fibrosis: Current situation and future prospects. world journal of gastroenterology. 2015;21(3):742-758.

What is a pulmonary disease?

Pulmonary disease is the general name for diseases characterized by the blockage or obstruction of the blood vessels contained in the heart-lung blood circuit (blood travelling to and from the heart) resulting in poor airflow. There is a range of different diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema and effects in the heart such as pulmonary heart disease. Diseases are treated with regard to their specific cause and in certain instances may be brought about due to other conditions which need to be treated first.

Why might I store my stem cells for treatment of pulmonary disease?

In many cases of pulmonary disease, the outcomes may not only be chronic and progressive but also terminal. Stem cell therapy treats the diseased lung itself and not only the symptoms, by regenerating healthy lung tissue. The lungs trap the stem cells administered leading to the regeneration of the alveolus- dead cells of the alveolus contain empty niches where the stem cells settle, start growing, reproducing then rebuilding the alveolus. There are no side effects, pain or rejection from stem cell therapy.

  1. Weiss D. Concise Review: Current Status of Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine in Lung Biology and Diseases. STEM CELLS. 2014;32(1):16-25.
  2. Ribeiro-Paes, Bilaqui, Greco O, Ruiz M, Marcelino, Stessuk et al. Unicentric study of cell therapy in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease/pulmonary emphysema. International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. 2011;:63.

What is a stroke?

A stroke is seen as an abrupt loss of brain function which occurs due to a variety of causes, such as, the rupture of a blood vessel or the interruption of blood flow to the brain. Within minutes without oxygen, the brain cells begin to die which leads to motor, sensory and cognitive problems or death. Certain antiplatelet agents, such as aspirin, are recommended in the prevention of a stroke and have a reputable success rate. Mechanisms in the treatment of strokes are focused on increasing the underlying biophysical mechanisms as well as the development of techniques and procedures concerned with the management of patients.

Why might I store my own stem cells for the treatment of a stroke?

Modern medical science has now allowed for the damaged brain cells caused from a stroke to be replaced and, therefore, brain functioning restored by using stem cells. The stem cells lead to growth factors being released and, in turn, brain tissue fixed. There comes a vast range of advantages with using stem cell therapy such as; very little side effects are observed and the complications of rejection are also avoided. The effects of stem cell-based therapy are increased when in combination with certain pharmaceutical medication.

  1. Zuk, P. (2013). Adipose-Derived Stem Cells in Tissue Regeneration: A Review. ISRN Stem Cells, Article ID 713959, 35 pages.
  2. Otero-Ortega, L., et. al. (2015). White matter injury restoration after stem cell administration in subcortical ischemic stroke. Stem Cell Research & Therapy, 6:121.
  3. B.Vyas. (2015). Grey hair turning to black following Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy in patients with neurological disorders: A Report of 4 Cases. GUJARAT MEDICAL JOURNAL, Vol. 70 No. 2.

What is an acute heart attack?

An acute heart attack occurs when the blood flow to a particular part of the heart stops resulting in damage or even death to the tissue surrounding the heart. The accumulation of fat, cholesterol and other substances in the coronary arteries block the blood supply to the heart. Treatment is based with the objective being to stabilize the cardiovascular system and prevent any further cell damage. Medications will be administered including aspirin and other blood-thinning agents, in addition, a surgical procedure may follow either to relieve the blockage or to bypass the blockage.

Why I might I store my own stem cells for the treatment of an acute heart attack?

Cardiopoetic stem cell therapy allows the generation of cardiac muscle cells (cardiomyocytes) which multiplies into scar tissue and integrated with the hosts muscle tissue of the heart allowing for tumour-free repair. In this way the damaged, dead coronary arteries can be replaced with living, functioning tissue. Stem cells can be delivered to the heart through a bone marrow transplantation as well as through direct injection of the stem cells into the hearts tissue giving rise to the a therapeutic strategy in combating acute heart failure.

  1. Bartunek J, Behfar A, Dolatabadi D, Vanderheyden M, Ostojic M, Dens J et al. Cardiopoietic Stem Cell Therapy in Heart Failure. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2013;61(23):2329-2338.
  2. Donndorf P, Strauer B, Haverich A, Steinhoff G. Stem Cell Therapy for the Treatment of Acute Myocardial Infarction and Chronic Ischemic Heart Disease. Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. 2013;14(1):12-19.
  3. Elnakish M, Hassan F, Dakhlallah D, Marsh C, Alhaider I, Khan M. Mesenchymal Stem Cells for Cardiac Regeneration: Translation to Bedside Reality. Stem Cells International. 2012;2012:1-14.
  4. Nery A, Nascimento I, Glaser T, Bassaneze V, Krieger J, Ulrich H. Human mesenchymal stem cells: From immunophenotyping by flow cytometry to clinical applications. Cytometry. 2012;83A(1):48-61.

What is arthritis?

Arthritis is used to describe joint inflammation and stiffness referring to a wide range of rheumatic conditions affecting the joints. Certain conditions may involve the immune system (autoimmune) as well as various organs of the body. The impairment caused from arthritis is normally extremely painful and can affect patient's ability to perform essential daily tasks and may even lead to disability.

Why might I need to store my stem cells for arthritis treatment?

Treatments such as immune suppressive agents provide only temporary improvements and have negative long-term effects whereas mesenchymal stem cells have the ability to heal the damaged tissue, in addition to balancing the immune system by turning off pathological responses while fighting off disease. Stem cells produce anti-inflammatory agents and instead of suppressing the immune system of the entire body they tend to act locally. They also induce the production of specific cells that function to defend the body from immunological self-attack.

  1. Cras A, Farge D, Carmoi T, Lataillade J, Wang D, Sun L. Update on mesenchymal stem cell-based therapy in lupus and scleroderma. Arthritis Res Ther. 2015;17(1).
  2. Chen F, Tuan R. Mesenchymal stem cells in arthritic diseases. Arthritis Res Ther. 2008;10(5):223.
  3. Zheng Z, Li X, Ding J, Jia J, Zhu P. Allogeneic mesenchymal stem cell and mesenchymal stem cell-differentiated chondrocyte suppress the responses of type II collagen-reactive T cells in rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatology. 2008;47(1):22-30.
  4. El-Jawhari J, El-Sherbiny Y, Jones E, McGonagle D. Mesenchymal stem cells, autoimmunity and rheumatoid arthritis. QJM. 2014;107(7):505-514.

What is articular cartilage?

The sleek, white connective tissue covering the ends of bones where they contact one another to form joints is known as articular cartilage. Injury and age can result in the articular cartilage to become damaged or destroyed causing pain, inflammation and stiffness. Treatment may be surgical (marrow stimulation, mosaicplasty) in more severe cases or non-surgical (physiotherapy, medications).

Why might I store my own stem cells for articular cartilage repair?

Articular cartilage is known for its low ability to regenerate, however, with the combination of mesenchymal stem cells and collagen gel hyaline cartilage can be formed, improving a patient's ability to walk as well as decreasing the pain experienced with damaged cartilage. Stem cells have a chondrogenic property allowing them to develop into cartilage as well as immunomodulatory functions which make them a vital option in patients who are unable to have or refuse surgical treatment.

  1. Eslaminejad M. Mesenchymal stem cells as a potent cell source for articular cartilage regeneration. World Journal of Stem Cells. 2014;6(3):344.
  2. Cucchiarini M, Orth P, Rey-Rico A, Venkatesan J, Madry H. Current perspectives in stem cell research for knee cartilage repair. Stem Cells and Cloning: Advances and Applications. 2014;:1.
  3. Baugé C, Boumédiene K. Use of Adult Stem Cells for Cartilage Tissue Engineering: Current Status and Future Developments. Stem Cells International. 2015;2015:1-14.

What is breast reconstruction?

Breast reconstruction is a surgical procedure done to rebuild a new breast after a mastectomy is conducted. A new breast can be moulded either out of a patient's own tissue or by the use of an implant- the nipple along with the areola can also be reconstructed. In cases where only part of the breast was removed, breast reconstruction may also be needed to restore the desired characteristics of the breast.

Why might I store my own stem cells for breast reconstruction?

Lipotransfer or the fat-grafting method involves the transfer of fat in order to reconstruct the breast, however, transferred fat does not last. Stem cell enriched fat injections can allow for the fat transplanted to retain the majority of its initial volume. Stem cell treatment allows for the natural regrowth of fat within the breast which ultimately gives a more uniform look and feel to the breast. The use of implants can be omitted and therefore, the risk of the body rejecting the implant eliminated.

  1. Tanasit Techanukul V. Stem cell and tissue engineering in breast reconstruction. Gland Surgery [Internet]. 2014 [cited 18 January 2016];3(1):55. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4115774/
  2. Kim Y, Jeong J. Clinical Application of Adipose Stem Cells in Plastic Surgery. Journal of Korean Medical Science. 2014;29(4):462.

What is chronic heart disease/heart failure?

Chronic heart disease occurs when your heart is unable to pump blood around the body as sufficiently as it should. There are a variety of causes resulting in chronic heart failure with the most common being a heart attack causing damage to the left ventricle of the heart. As a consequence fluid begins to be retained mainly in the lungs, legs and abdomen. Medications, lifestyle changes and in some cases surgery can be used to treat people with chronic heart failure, however, heart transplantation remains the only cure.

Why might I store my own stem cells for the treatment of chronic heart disease?

Stem cells have the ability to localize in the damaged heart tissue and initiate an overflow of biological events such as the formation of new heart muscle cells replacing the damaged ones. The combination of a statin with mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) intramyocardial injections will increase the differentiation of cardiomyocytes which in turn regenerates the contractile tissue and microvasculature lost.

  1. Bilgimol J. Stem cells: An eventual treatment option for heart diseases. World Journal of Stem Cells. 2015;7(8):1118.
  2. Wang X, Zhang J, Zhang F, Li J, Li Y, Tan Z et al. The Clinical Status of Stem Cell Therapy for Ischemic Cardiomyopathy. Stem Cells International. 2015;2015:1-13.

What is corneal repair?

The cornea serves as a barrier against dirt and germs from entering the eye and clearly any major damage results in adverse effects. Corneal repair most often than not involves surgical repair to the corneal laceration, to prevent further eye damage as well as to remove any foreign objects which may remain in the eye. In extreme cases a cornea transplant may be needed in order to achieve a full recovery.

Why might I store my own stem cells for corneal repair?

Cornea transplants require a long waiting period for donors as well as lengthy post-surgical follow-up care, a lifelong script of medications and a chance of rejection whereas stem cell therapy is a nonsurgical procedure and requires mild anesthetic while avoiding the risk of rejection. Human mesenchymal stem cells can be cultivated and developed into epithelial cells which maintains the transparency of the previously blurred cornea.

  1. Dua H, Joseph A, Shanmuganathan V, Jones R. Stem cell differentiation and the effects of deficiency. Eye. 2003;17(8):877-885.
  2. Lan Y, Kodati S, Lee H, Omoto M, Jin Y, Chauhan S. Kinetics and Function of Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Corneal Injury. Investigative Opthalmology & Visual Science. 2012;53(7):3638.
  3. Li F. Mesenchymal stem cells: Potential role in corneal wound repair and transplantation. World Journal of Stem Cells. 2014;6(3):296.

What is Crohn's disease?

Crohn's diseases is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system begins to attack healthy cells in the intestines causing inflammation. Different areas of the digestive tract can be affected in different people. The inflammation spreads, quickly affecting the deeper bowel tissue causing severe pain and complications. There is no known cure and treatment involves the managing of the symptoms associated with the disease.

Why might I store my stem cells for Crohn's disease treatment?

Mesenchymal stem cells release an anti-inflammatory as well as anti-apoptotic molecules resulting in the protection of the damaged tissues. Along with Crohn's disease comes a series of associated diseases such as complex perianal fistulas in which other treatments are not entirely effective, however, stem cells can be injected into the open fistula resulting in their complete closure.

  1. Jeong Chan Ra A. Stem cell treatment for patients with autoimmune disease by systemic infusion of culture-expanded autologous adipose tissue derived mesenchymal stem cells. Journal of Translational Medicine [Internet]. 2011 [cited 20 January 2016];9:181. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3222617/
  2. Figueroa F, Carrión F, Villanueva S, Khoury M. Mesenchymal Stem Cell treatment for autoimmune diseases: a critical review. Biol Res. 2012;45(3):269-277.
  3. GARCÍA-OLMO D, HERREROS D, PASCUAL I, PASCUAL JA, DEL-VALLE E, ZORRILLA J, DE-LA-QUINTANA P, GARCÍA-ARRANZ M, PASCUAL M (2009) Expanded adipose-derived stem cells for the treatment of complex perianal fistula: a phase II clinical trial. Dis Colon Rectum 52: 79-86
  4. Stem cell treatment for patients with autoimmune disease by systemic infusion of culture-expanded autologous adipose tissue derived mesenchymal stem cells. Journal of Translational Medicine [Internet]. 2011 [cited 26 January 2016];1(181). Available from: L http://www.translational-medicine.com/content/9/1/181

What is diabetes (type 1 and 2)?

In type 1 diabetes the body's immune system attacks the cells which release insulin, resulting in the complete loss of insulin-producing cells and therefore, the loss of insulin. The cells will no longer be able to absorb glucose (sugar) needed for the production of energy. Type 2 diabetes can be characterized into two defects depending on the level of severity. Insulin resistance, as the body is unable to utilize insulin in the correct manner. As type 2 diabetes worsens the production of insulin in the pancreas decreases, this is known as insulin deficiency. Diabetes can lead to severe complications such as blindness, kidney failure, leg or foot amputations, heart disease and stroke.

Why might I store my own stem cells for the treatment of diabetes (type 1 and 2)?

Stem cell therapy has been proven to decrease the daily insulin requirement in patients with type 2 diabetes. The stem cells have the ability to migrate to the pancreas leading to the stimulation of growth, survival and differentiation of ß-cells needed for pancreatic development and, in turn, insulin production. Insulin-producing cells can also be achieved by in-vitro or in vivo and injected into the body (portal vein of the liver) providing a mechanism to combat type 1 diabetes. They provide an infinite number of insulin-producing cells for transplantation and eliminate the immunological barrier.

  1. Bhansali A, Upreti V, Walia R, Gupta V, Bhansali S, Sharma R et al. Efficacy and safety of autologous bone marrow derived hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in patients with type 2 DM: A 15 months follow-up study. Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2014;18(6):838.
  2. Chhabra P, Brayman K. Stem Cell Therapy to Cure Type 1 Diabetes: From Hype to Hope. Stem Cells Translational Medicine. 2013;2(5):328-336.
  3. Stem cells therapy for type 1 diabetes. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice. 2007;Volume 78(Issue 1):Pages 1-7.

What is erectile dysfunction?

The inability to get or keep an erection during sexual intercourse is referred to as erectile dysfunction (ED). ED may occur at any stage of the erection process resulting in an inadequate erection. There is a vast source of causes of ED including diabetes, stress and drug use to mention a few. Treatment of ED usually depends on the underlying cause and in certain cases, surgery may be necessary.

Why might I store my stem cells in the treatment of erectile dysfunction?

Adipose-derived stem cells are able to secrete growth factors and other signal molecules to repair any damaged penile tissue and are also able to regenerate and replace the tissues directly. This process eliminates the use of general anesthesia and prevents any allergic reaction or rejection from the body, altogether, it defeats the need for surgery.

  1. Lin C, Xin Z, Wang Z, Deng C, Huang Y, Lin G et al. Stem Cell Therapy for Erectile Dysfunction: A Critical Review. Stem Cells and Development. 2012;21(3):343-351.
  2. Levy J, Marchand M, Iorio L, Cassini W, Zahalsky M. Determining the Feasibility of Managing Erectile Dysfunction in Humans With Placental-Derived Stem Cells. The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association. 2016;116(1):e1.
  3. Levy J, Marchand M, Iorio L, Zribi G, Zahalsky M. Effects of Stem Cell Treatment in Human Patients With Peyronie Disease. The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association. 2015;115(10):e8.
  4. Lin C. Advances in Stem Cell Therapy for Erectile Dysfunction. Advances in Andrology. 2014;2014:1-20.
  5. Lin G, Banie L, Ning H, Bella A, Lin C, Lue T. Potential of Adipose-Derived Stem Cells for Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction. The Journal of Sexual Medicine. 2009;6:320-327.

What is facial reconstruction?

Facial reconstruction involves a variety of different surgical techniques which can be implemented on impairments, such as, cancer defects, scarred facial tissue, a cleft lip and many more in order to restore function. Skin grafts and body part moulds known as scaffolds can be used to repair the damaged sites. Extreme cases may require a donor of certain substances in order to allow for a full recovery.

Why might I store my own stem cells for facial reconstruction therapy?

The production of collagen, blood vessel formation and the breakdown of scar tissue can be persuaded by stem cells. When bionano scaffolds are used in combination with human adipose-derived stem cells (hADSC's), cartilage tissue can be generated, which can be used in the reconstruction of the human ear and nose. Stem cells can also be used the development of bone needed for jaw reconstruction, for instance, a dent in the jaw can be repaired. Besides the use of stem cells in relieving people from the stress of going under the knife it allows the regenerated body part to grow in conjunction with the patient.

  1. Guasti L, Vagaska B, Bulstrode N, Seifalian A, Ferretti P. Chondrogenic differentiation of adipose tissue-derived stem cells within nanocaged POSS-PCU scaffolds: A new tool for nanomedicine. Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine. 2014;10(2):279-289.
  2. Marot D, Knezevic M, Novakovic G. Bone tissue engineering with human stem cells. Stem Cell Research & Therapy. 2010;1(2):10.
  3. Jalali M, Kirkpatrick W, Cameron M, Pauklin S, Vallier L. Human Stem Cells for Craniomaxillofacial Reconstruction. Stem Cells and Development. 2014;23(13):1437-1451.
  4. Eun S. Stem Cell and Research in Plastic Surgery. Journal of Korean Medical Science. 2014;29(Suppl 3):S167.
  5. Lindroos B, Suuronen R, Miettinen S. The Potential of Adipose Stem Cells in Regenerative Medicine. Stem Cell Rev and Rep. 2010;7(2):269-291.

What is kidney disease?

Kidney disease is the common term for any disease which causes damage to the kidneys resulting in the gradual loss of function of the kidneys. The kidneys play a vital role in removing waste products from the body in addition to regulating the amount of water and chemicals in the body. Along with the numerous functions of the kidney there comes copious different types of kidney diseases ranging from acute kidney disease to kidney failure.

Why might I store my own stem cells for kidney disease treatment?

Mesenchymal stem cells have the ability to maximise the functional responses of the kidney to repair itself by stimulating the kidneys own stem cells along with the release of growth factors, promoting the survival of renal cells and hence, a natural recovery. Improvements may include better renal function in addition to the delay of disease progression.

  1. Brodie J. Stem Cell Approaches for the Treatment of Renal Failure. Pharmacological Reviews. 2005;57(3):299-313.
  2. Eirin A, Lerman L. Mesenchymal stem cell treatment for chronic renal failure. Stem Cell Research & Therapy. 2014;5(4):83.

What is lipodystrophy?

Lipodystrophy is the term used to describe a medical condition in which the body functions abnormally in the way it produces, uses and stores adipose tissue (fat). There are two different types of lipodystrophy namely, lipoatrophy (fat loss) and lipohypertrophy (fat build up) and the condition is usually caused due to a lack of leptin in the body. An aftermath of lipodystrophy can be the rejection of medication or a decrease in the absorption of medication.

Why might I store my own stem cells for the treatment of lipodystrophy?

Adipose-derived stem cells enhance the development of new blood vessels, a process known as angiogenesis, along with the ability to reduce the rate of fat reabsorption, they are able to treat lipodystrophy and more specifically lipoatrophy. Microsurgery leaves patients with visible, unappealing scars, whereas with the use of autologous stem cells there is no associated scarring and the risk of rejection is kept absence.

  1. YOSHIMURA K, SATO K, AOI N, KURITA M, INOUE K, SUGA H et al. Cell-Assisted Lipotransfer for Facial Lipoatrophy: Efficacy of Clinical Use of Adipose-Derived Stem Cells. Dermatologic Surgery. 2008;34(9):1178-1185.
  2. KIM M, KIM I, LEE S, BANG S, LIM S. Clinical Trial of Autologous Differentiated Adipocytes from Stem Cells Derived from Human Adipose Tissue. Dermatologic Surgery. 2011;37(6):750-759.
  3. Monfort A, Izeta A. Strategies for Human Adipose Tissue Repair and Regeneration. JCDSA. 2012;02(02):93-107.

What is Maxillary reconstruction?

The maxilla is the upper jaw bone which can be seen in most vertebrates. Part of the nose and eye sockets also form from the maxilla, therefore, defects of the maxilla most likely affect functions of speech, swallowing and deglutition as well as cosmetic disfigurement. Treatment of the defective maxilla involves an obturator prosthesis or by the surgical reconstruction of the maxilla. Reconstruction is achieved via three extensive approaches namely; cancellous marrow grafts, cranial bone grafts and microvascular transfers.

Why would I store my own stems cells for maxillary reconstruction?

Stem cells are an excruciating tool in one of the most emerging scientific fields - the engineering of bone tissue. There has been an ongoing set of failures for autografts and allografts thereby new biomaterials are needed to promote bone repair. The combination of adipose-derived stem cells (ASC) with specific bone substitutes (Bioactive glass or ß-tricalcium) or proteins (recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2) allows for successful cases of maxillofacial hard tissue formation. ASCs are used in the hopes that they will successfully modify the wound healing dynamics of what would be not probable to heal when bone replacement scaffolds are used alone.

  1. Romagnoli C, Brandi M. Adipose mesenchymal stem cells in the field of bone tissue engineering. World Journal of Stem Cells. 2014;6(2):144.
  2. Chatterjea A, Meijer G, van Blitterswijk C, de Boer J. Clinical Application of Human Mesenchymal Stromal Cells for Bone Tissue Engineering. Stem Cells International. 2010;2010:1-12.
  3. King S, Hanson S, Hematti P, Thibeault S. Current applications of mesenchymal stem cells for tissue replacement in otolaryngology -- head and neck surgery. AM J Stem cell [Internet]. 2012;1(3):225-238. Available from: http://www.AJSC.us/ISSN:2160-4150/AJSC1209002
  4. Sandor G, Numminen J, Wolff J, Thesleff T, Miettinen A, Tuovinen V et al. Adipose Stem Cells Used to Reconstruct 13 Cases With Cranio-Maxillofacial Hard-Tissue Defects. Stem Cells Translational Medicine. 2014;3(4):530-540.

What is meniscal repair?

Meniscal repair involves the repair of the thin cartilage between the knee joints which gets damaged or torn during activities which place a vigorous amount of pressure on or rotate the knee joint. Depending on the nature of the tear treatment many involve non-surgical processes such as medication or rest, or surgical procedures such as arthroscopic surgery or a knee transplant.

Why might I store my own stem cells for the use of meniscal repair?

During surgery, when a division of the meniscus is removed, stem cells can be injected into the knee to allow for the regrowth of the torn meniscus along with pain relieve. With the use of stem cells the knee may become fully functional again and daily tasks can begin without strain and can conclusively lead to chondroprotection.

  1. Yu H, Adesida A, Jomha N. Meniscus repair using mesenchymal stem cells - a comprehensive review. Stem Cell Research & Therapy. 2015;6(1).
  2. Vangsness C, Farr J, Boyd J, Dellaero D, Mills C, LeRoux-Williams M. Adult Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells Delivered via Intra-Articular Injection to the Knee Following Partial Medial Meniscectomy: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Controlled Study. The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery. 2014;96(2):90-98.

What is organ transplant/replacement?

An organ transplant involves the moving of an organ from one person (the donor) to another (the recipient) in order to replace the damaged or missing organ. Organs or tissue can also be replaced from a donor site on the same person's body, these organs or tissue are known as autografts. Along with organ transplantation comes a list of associated risks such as rejection from the recipient and a shortage in the supply of donor organs adding to the increased time of waiting.

Why might I store my own stem cells for the use of organ transplants?

Immunosuppression may also cause harmful side effects that stem cells can combat by allowing the recipient's immune system to recognize the transplanted organ as its own sequentially allowing patients to be relieved of taking anti-rejection medications following the organ transplant and ultimately eliminating the need for immunosuppression. Modern medicine has allowed for the synthetic organ scaffolds to be built and enriched with stem cells then transplanted to patients removing the need for donors. A future direction allows for the organs to be generated entirely from stem cells and completely eliminating the risk of donor shortages.

  1. Zhao Q, Ren H, Han Z. Mesenchymal stem cells: Immunomodulatory capability and clinical potential in immune diseases. Journal of Cellular Immunotherapy. 2015;.
  2. Karaoz E. The Role of Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Organ Transplantation Immunomodulatory and Anti-inflammatory Properties of Mesenchymal Stem Cells for Application in Organ Transplantation. Journal of Transplantation Technologies & Research. 2013;04(01).
  3. Trivedi H, Vanikar A. MESENCHYMAL STEM CELLS AND SOLID ORGAN TRANSPLANTATION. The Official Journal of The Cure Alliance Skip to content HOME AIMS AND SCOPE EDITORIAL. 2013;1(2):123-136.
  4. Oh J, Lee R, Yu J, Ko J, Lee H, Ko A et al. Intravenous Mesenchymal Stem Cells Prevented Rejection of Allogeneic Corneal Transplants by Aborting the Early Inflammatory Response. Mol Ther. 2012;20(11):2143-2152.

What is osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis affecting only the joints and is characterized by the degradation of joint cartilage which consequently allows for the bones to rub against one another. This causes immense pain and greatly restricts a patient's movements around the joint, eventually, the original shape of the joint will be lost.

Why might I store my own stem cells for osteoarthritis treatment?

Cartilage has a very limited ability to repair itself which results in inadequate treatment options. Mesenchymal stem cells are not dependent on the availability of healthy cartilage and are able to differentiate into the tissue of the chondrocyte lineage. Stem cells have immunomodulatory properties thereby bar pathogenic responses while obtaining the ability to fight off disease.

  1. Jo C, Lee Y, Shin W, Kim H, Chai J, Jeong E et al. Intra-Articular Injection of Mesenchymal Stem Cells for the Treatment of Osteoarthritis of the Knee: A Proof-of-Concept Clinical Trial. STEM CELLS. 2014;32(5):1254-1266.
  2. Diekman B, Guilak F. Stem cell-based therapies for osteoarthritis. Current Opinion in Rheumatology. 2013;25(1):119-126.

What is Parkinson's disease?

Parkinson's is a neurodegenerative brain disorder which increases slowly with time. Neurons in the brain produce a neurotransmitter known as dopamine. Dopamine transports messages between the substantia nigra of the brain and other parts of the brain with a goal to control bodily movements. Parkinson's symptoms result when large volumes of the dopamine-producing cells are damaged ensuing the production of dopamine to decrease causing a person to have less control over their movement, body and emotions. There is currently no cure for Parkinson's disease and treatment is aimed at managing symptoms.

Why might I store my own stem cells for the treatment of Parkinson's disease?

Research is taking place involving the use of mesenchymal stems cells which are currently being used to grow dopamine-producing cells that can be transplanted into patients in order to replace the lost cells. This will help patients retain greater control of their movements and combat symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Stem cell therapy is definitely a valuable start as the central nervous system is unable to regenerate its own neurons and stem cells provide a promising alternative.

  1. Trzaska K, Castillo M, Rameshwar P. Adult mesenchymal stem cells in neural regeneration and repair: Current advances and future prospects (Review). Molecular Medicine Reports. 2008;.
  2. Kitada M, Dezawa M. Parkinson's Disease and Mesenchymal Stem Cells: Potential for Cell-Based Therapy. Parkinson's Disease. 2012;2012:1-9.
  3. Drouin-Ouellet J, Barker R. Stem cell therapies for Parkinson's disease: are trials just around the corner?. Regenerative Medicine. 2014;9(5):553-555.

What is radiation injury?

Radiation injury is caused when tissues are exposed to ionizing radiation causing tissue damage or changes. Ionizing radiation can be seen as high energy radiation namely x-rays and gamma rays. A large quantity of ionizing radiation can result in acute illness, by decreasing the production of blood cells and damage to the digestive tract, furthermore, the cardiovascular system (heart and blood), brain and skin can also be affected along with the increased risk of cancer.

Why might I store my own stem cells for radiation injury treatment?

During radiotherapy, normal tissue around the tumour may be damaged which can result in afflictive consequences. Stem cell therapy can be used to reduce the radiation-induced side effects experienced by patients and prevent or treat normal tissue damage after radiotherapy. In many cancer cases radiation needs to be done in high doses in order for all the cancer cells to be destroyed, however, this also destroys the body's normal functioning cells causing severe damage to the bone marrow, where new blood cells are produced, leading to a life threating shortage of blood. This problem can be counteracted as stem cells can be transplanted- by a blood transfusion- back to the body after the high-dose radiotherapy thus settling in the bone marrow and producing the lost blood cells.

  1. Benderitter M, Caviggioli F, Chapel A, Coppes R, Guha C, Klinger M et al. Stem Cell Therapies for the Treatment of Radiation-Induced Normal Tissue Side Effects. Antioxidants & Redox Signaling. 2014;21(2):338-355.
  2. Forcheron F, Agay D, Scherthan H, Riccobono D, Herodin F, Meineke V et al. Autologous Adipocyte Derived Stem Cells Favour Healing in a Minipig Model of Cutaneous Radiation Syndrome. PLoS ONE. 2012;7(2):e31694.
  3. Rezvani, M. (2015). STEM CELLS AND REGENERATION OF IRRADIATED TISSUES. Biological Responses, Monitoring and Protection from Radiation exposure.

What is spinal cord injury?

Spinal cord injuries begins with a sudden blow to the spine which fractures or dislodges the vertebrae. The majority of spinal cord injuries results in the destruction of axons (nerve cells along the spinal cord carrying messages between the brain and the rest of the body). Injuries may be complete- leaving a total lack of function below the point of injury or incomplete- where some function below the point of injury is retained.

Why might I store my stem cells for treatment of a spinal cord injury?

Stem cells exhibit the ability to be integrated within the tissue of the damaged spinal cord and differentiate into neurones and support cells, resulting in a significant improvement in function. Stem cells also offer neuroprotection by protecting neurones against glutamate induced excitotoxicity. Stem cells secrete chemicals contributing to a favourable environment for nerve repair and growth while avoiding scarring. Stem cells can also be used as a vector for therapeutic factors to enhance axonal regeneration.

  1. Dasari V. Mesenchymal stem cells in the treatment of spinal cord injuries: A review. World Journal of Stem Cells. 2014;6(2):120.
  2. TRZASKA, K.A., et. al. (2008). Adult mesenchymal stem cells in neural regeneration and repair: Current advances and future prospects (Review). MOLECULAR MEDICINE REPORTS 1: 307-316.

What is tendon injury?

Tendon injuries result due to the damage or tearing of the fibres connecting bone to muscle known as tendons. When the tendons are placed under a considerable amount of stress they begin to form minute tears- inducing an inflammatory response. If the tension continues for too long the tears in the tendons may develop beyond the body's ability to repair it causing pain and functional impairment.

Why might I store my own stem cells for the treatment of tendon injuries?

Mesenchymal stem cells congregate at the site of the damaged tendon, releasing growth factors and anti-inflammatory agents to treat the damaged tendon cells. Mesenchymal stem cells hold the ability to differentiate into tenocytes enabling the regeneration of damaged tenocytes instead of producing scar tissue which degenerates over time.

  1. MacLean S, Khan W, Malik A, Snow M, Anand S. Tendon Regeneration and Repair with Stem Cells. Stem Cells International. 2012;2012:1-6.
  2. McArdle, A., et.al. (2013). Manipulation of Stem Cells and their Microenvironment for Tissue Engineering. Surgery Curr Res., 3:3.
  3. Orth, P., et. al. (2014). Current perspectives in stem cell research for knee cartilage repair. Stem cells and cloning:Advances and Applications, 7: 1-17.

What is tracheal repair?

Many sources are known to cause injury to a person's trachea and in turn, there are a variety of mechanisms that may be employed when trying to repair the airway, with the most favourable being bronchoscopy and chest computed tomography with MPR and 3D reconstruction of the trachea. A surgical approach is chosen with the location of injury being of importance. Infections of the trachea may result in obstruction of the airflow and require certain antibiotics for the treatment process. In extreme trachea injuries, a complete tracheal transplant may be necessary, however, the shortage of trachea donors places a large restriction on this type of repair. Tracheal repair is an extremely important tool in medicine as an obstruction in the trachea prevents airflow into the lungs and, in turn, has detrimental effects.

Why might I store my own stem cells for the treatment of my trachea?

Stem cells offer a new therapeutic option for patients with a failing trachea. It has now been made possible to use stem cells with the combination of other biochemical factors in the regeneration of a trachea. The epithelium of the trachea can be repaired with stem cells and in this way, tissue damage caused by infection or mechanical damage can be altered back to normal condition. The risk of waiting for a donor has decreased and this in turn has allowed for a more aggressive approach when tackling tracheal diseases.

  1. Schweitzer, K. S., et.al. (2011). Adipose Stem Cell Treatment in Mice Attenuates Lung and Systemic Injury Induced by Cigarette Smoking. Am J Respir Crit Care Med Vol 183. pp 215-225.
  2. Chistiakov D. Endogenous and exogenous stem cells: a role in lung repair and use in airway tissue engineering and transplantation. J Biomed Sci. 2010;17(1):92.
  3. Suzuki, T., et. al. (2008). Regeneration of the trachea using a bioengineered scaffold with adipose-derived stem cells. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol., 117(6):453-63.

What is urinary incontinence?

Urinary incontinence is characterized by the involuntary discharge of urine causing one to urinate even when it is not needed. It is caused as the voluntary control over the urinary sphincter becomes depleted or lost causing the bladder to be unable to store urine. Many treatments are currently available and range from exercise techniques to medications and even surgery can be implemented in certain scenarios.

Why might I need to store my own stem cells for urinary incontinence?

Adipose-derived stem cells can be injected into the urethra to recover and regenerate urinary sphincter tissue. The outcome is an increase in the maximum urine stored inside the bladder and due to the increased thickness of the muscles in the urethral mucosa, the sphincter's contraction ability will be greatly improved.

  1. Tran C, Damaser M. The potential role of stem cells in the treatment of urinary incontinence. Therapeutic Advances in Urology. 2014;.
  2. Dissaranan C, Cruz M, Couri B, Goldman H, Damaser M. Stem Cell Therapy for Incontinence: Where Are We Now? What is the Realistic Potential?. Current Urology Reports. 2011;12(5):336-344.
  3. Gotoh M, Yamamoto T, Kato M, Majima T, Toriyama K, Kamei Y et al. Regenerative treatment of male stress urinary incontinence by periurethral injection of autologous adipose-derived regenerative cells: 1-year outcomes in 11 patients. International Journal of Urology. 2013;21(3):294-300.

What is vocal fold/cord repair?

Vocal cords can sometimes become damaged due to numerous factors including vocal cord tumours, paralysis and infection allowing for a wide range of treatment options available. Nodules, polyps and tumours need to be surgically removed while infections can be treated with antibiotics and paralysis with voice therapy. The current methods of repair have certain limitations in repairing the complex and precise properties concerned with the human vocal fold- cancer patients cannot receive a donor organ as well as the very sensitive voice box where small changes to the vocal fold dramatically impact the person's voice- resulting in a stunted level of success in many cases.

Why might I store my own stem cells for vocal fold/cord repair?

Regenerative medicine has offered a solution to this delicate problem as human stem cells can be used to graft a vocal fold and then implanted back into the patient. Adipose-derived stem cells (ASC's) can be injected into a damaged vocal fold tissue where they administer natural growth factors and cytokines which promote the reformation of tissue along with the stimulation of wound healing which can be a valuable tool in the treatment of vocal fold scarring and inflammation.

  1. Park H, Karajanagi S, Wolak K, Aanestad J, Daheron L, Kobler J et al. Three-Dimensional Hydrogel Model Using Adipose-Derived Stem Cells for Vocal Fold Augmentation. Tissue Engineering Part A. 2010;16(2):535-543.
  2. Valerie, A., et.al. (2015). Adipose-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells in the Regeneration of Vocal Folds: A Study on a Chronic Vocal Fold Scar. Stem Cells International Volume 2016, Article ID 9010279, 12 pages.

What is wound healing and burns?

Burns extend far beyond the burning sensation accompanied with this injury. Astringent skin damage and cell death are among the common idiosyncratic of burns. There are three levels associated with the severity of burns; first-degree, second-degree and third-degree burns, where even organs may become damaged. Wound healing is the mechanism in which body tissue attempts to repair itself following damage. There are three different phases associated with wound healing; the inflammatory phase (damaged or dead cells are removed from the wound), the proliferation phase (tissue growth to close the wound) and finally maturation (the remodelling of tissue after the wound is closed).

Why might I store my own stem cells for the treatment of burns and wound healing?

Many burn wounds can be a hotspot for infection, however, mesenchymal stem cells injected with beta-defensin 2 prevent infection as they possess antibacterial properties. Mesenchymal stem cells have the ability to advance the wound healing process due to their ability to synthesize high levels of collagen, allowing for the quicker appearance of the epidermis (skin tissue), in addition to multiple growth factors and anti-inflammatory agents. Stem cells not only reduce the wound size but also increase the dimensions of the dermal tissue.

  1. Ghieh F, Jurjus R, Ibrahim A, Geagea A, Daouk H, El Baba B et al. The Use of Stem Cells in Burn Wound Healing: A Review. BioMed Research International. 2015;2015:1-9.
  2. Hanson, S.E., et.al. (2010). Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy for Nonhealing Cutaneous Wounds. Plast Reconstr Surg.; 125(2): 510-516.
  3. Duscher D, Barrera J, Wong V, Maan Z, Whittam A, Januszyk M et al. Stem Cells in Wound Healing: The Future of Regenerative Medicine A Mini-Review. Gerontology. 2015;.
  4. Maxson S, Lopez E, Yoo D, Danilkovitch-Miagkova A, LeRoux M. Concise Review: Role of Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Wound Repair. Stem Cells Translational Medicine. 2012;1(2):142-149.
  5. Nuschke, A. (2014). Activity of mesenchymal stem cells in therapies for chronic skin wound healing. Organogenesis 10:1, 29-37.
  6. Kim, Y-J and Jeong, J-H. (2014). Clinical Application of Adipose Stem Cells in Plastic Surgery. J Korean Med Sci.; 29: 462-467.
  7. Jayaraman, P., et. al. (2013). Stem cells conditioned medium: a new approach to skin wound healing management. Cell Biol Int 9999, 1-7.
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