Stem Cell Treatment
in Buffalo, NY
What are stem cells?
Stem cells are, simply put, the building blocks of all cells. They eventually become more specialized cells, as they have the ability to develop into any type of cell they need to. Stem cells can also become daughter cells, which in turn develop into new stem cells or specialized cells, including blood cells, brain cells, heart muscle cells, and bone cells. The cells go by signals within their surroundings to develop into a more specialized cell. Stem cells are unique in that no other cell in the body can generate new cell types naturally.
Why is there such an interest in stem cells?
Stem cells can help us to understand the causes of disease better. Through watching stem cells, we can increase our knowledge and learn how stem cells can be used to better treat different diseases and conditions.
Many people stand to benefit from stem cells, including those with spinal cord injuries, type 1 diabetes, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, heart disease, stroke, burns, cancer, and osteoarthritis.
It is also possible for stem cells to develop into new tissue for use in transplants and regenerative medicine.
For more information about the stem cell treatment process or to schedule an initial consultation with the team at Buffalo Regenerative Medicine, please feel free to contact our office today! We proudly serve patients in Buffalo and the surrounding WNY areas.
Where do stem cells come from?
There are several sources of stem cells:
Embryonic stem cells: These stem cells come from embryos that are 3 to 5 days old. At this stage, it is referred to as a blastocyst and contains approximately 150 cells.
These are pluripotent stem cells, meaning they can divide and reproduce, or become any type of cell in the body. This means they can be used in the regeneration and repair of diseased tissues and organs.
Adult stem cells: These stem cells are found in small groups in most adult tissues, such as bone marrow or fat. Unlike embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells have a more limited developmental ability when it comes to becoming other cell types.
It was common knowledge among researchers that adult stem cells could create only similar types of cells. But recently, this thinking has changed. For example, researchers used to think that stem cells from bone marrow could only develop into blood cells.
However, new evidence suggests that adult stem cells may be able to create several cell types, such as bone marrow stem cells creating bone or heart muscle cells.
Adult cells altered to have properties of embryonic stem cells: Scientists have successfully turned regular adult cells into stem cells via genetic reprogramming. Please note this is still very experimental at this time, as its effects are still largely unknown.
Perinatal stem cells: Both a newborn’s umbilical cord and the amniotic fluid around a baby in the womb are rich in stem cells, which have the potential to turn into specialized cells. Additionally, the Wharton's jelly in the umbilical cord of a newborn is a good source of stem cells.
Due to all these advancements, companies are now receiving umbilical cords as donations and extracting stem cells from the Wharton's jelly to be used in treatments.
What is stem cell therapy (regenerative medicine) and how does it work?
Stem cell therapy is a type of regenerative medicine that encourages diseased, dysfunctional, or injured tissue to repair itself using stem cells or their derivatives. It uses cells rather than donor organs, which can be extremely hard to find.
Researchers grow stem cells in a lab, which are then manipulated into specific types of cells, such as heart muscle cells, blood cells, or nerve cells.
These specialized cells can then be implanted into a person. For example, a person with heart disease can have healthy cells injected into the heart muscle, which would then help with the process of repairing the injured heart muscle.
Additionally, stem cells can be injected intra-articularly to promote cartilage and soft tissue regeneration in arthritis patients. For certain disease states, stem cells can also be used via intravenous infusion.