What are Stem Cells?

Stem cells are precursors of all cell types of organs and tissues in the human body. They play a vital role by ensuring the continuous replacement of aging and dying cells. As we age, however, their number decreases.

Unlike other body cells, stem cells can both maintain an undifferentiated state and turn into specialized cells in response to signals from the organism. Because of their unique properties, stem cells are successfully used in regenerative medicine and in the treatment of various diseases and conditions. Stem cell treatment can result in partial or full restoration of impaired functions, the inhibition of progressive or degenerative diseases, rejuvenation, and a better quality of life for the patient.

There are various sources of stem cells for clinical application: human fetuses, blood from the umbilical cord, bone marrow, adipose tissue, placenta, animals, and so on.

MSCs (mesenchymal stem cells)

Transplanted MSCs transform into neurons and endothelial cells after induction, and they also secrete factors in vitro and in vivo with various functions such as neurogenesis, inhibition of apoptosis (programmed cell death), neuronal and glial cell survival, expansion of axonal and myelin repair processes, development and protection of nervous tissue and integration, and improvement of local stem cells.

Bone marrow MSCs have the ability to transdifferentiate into (become) neuron-like cells in vitro so they might also have the same ability to deliver cell substitutes to the injured central nervous system.

Treatments using MSCs could be potentially reasonable and advanced way of repairing inflamed and impaired tissue.

MSCs therapy in MS uses either intravenous injection or the intrathecal injection route (into the spinal cord to reach the cerebrospinal fluid). The latter can possibly lead to meningeal irritation, which makes intravenous administration preferable.

HSCs (hematopoietic stem cells)

HSC transplant is different from all other stem cell treatments because its primary goal is to replace and reset the entire immune system. All immune cells are regenerated after destruction of the “old” immune system by radical immunosuppression (chemotherapy and other means significantly suppress or temporarily actually destroy the immune system).

HSCs are able to transdifferentiate into neuronal cells and show development and protection effects. They can be collected directly from the bone marrow and then transplanted back into the patient’s body (autologous HSC transplantation), or transplanted into a different person.

Orthopedic Indications and Sport Medicine

Various sources of stem cells have been studied for orthopedics clinical care practice. Stem cell therapy has successfully used for major orthopedic procedures in terms of bone-joint injuries (fractures-bone defects, nonunion, and spinal injuries), osteoarthritis-cartilage defects, ligament-tendon injuries, femoral head osteonecrosis and osteogenesis imperfecta. Stem cells have also used in bone tissue engineering in combining with the scaffolds and provided faster and better healing of tissues.

Stem cell therapy and regenerative medicine treatments have broad indications for patients with a whole spectrum of orthopedic and sports injury conditions.

How does stem cell technique exactly work?

The transplanted stem cells work by releasing proteins that assist wound healing and cell regeneration. They also help repair cells damaged by aging, sun or environment, while also stimulating the production of elastin and collagen – two naturally occurring substances responsible for keeping the skin thick and firm. Furthermore, it will also help increase the facial volume lost due to aging, excessive weight loss or any other factor.

The results begin to appear after 4 to 6 weeks and continue improving gradually over the next couple of months with improvements in the skin texture and tone. The results generally last for 4 to 6 months, and you will need additional treatment after that to retain the youthful appearance. However, treatment results can vary from person to person, with the results lasting for up to one year in most patients.

Orthopedic applications:

• Ligament tear
• Sports injuries
• Avascular necrosis of head of femur • Non-healing fractures

• Ankylosing spondylitis
• Chondromalacia patellae

Neurological applications:

• Stroke
• Spinal cord injury
• Multiple sclerosis
• Cerebral atrophy Autism • Cerebral palsy
• Muscular dystrophy
• Parkinson’s disease