What is Stem Cell Therapy?

You may wonder what stem cells are, what they can do and how they are able to help you or a loved one with a severe medical condition or a degenerative or chronic disease.  

Stem cells are non-specific cells that have the ability to self-renew and create more of the same cells. They can become specialized cells to be used for a specific purpose or function. Stem cells are the literal building blocks of the human body which harness regenerative properties that can repair damaged cells, tissue and organs. Stem Cell Therapy is a natural alternative to lengthy rehabilitation process following invasive surgery. Stem cells seek out damage in the body and work to regenerate damaged tissue.

 
Regenerative medicine holds great promise to repair damaged tissues and organs and restore functionality by stimulating the body's own regenerative capacity. There are several types of stem cells that can be used for different purposes. At Delaware Integrative Medicine we use Neonatal Stem Cells; Adult Stem Cells; Mesenchymal Stem Cells; Adipose Tissue and Cord Stem Cells.

Neonatal Stem Cells

are incredibly valuable stem cells that are formed as normal part of embryonic development. Embryonic stem cells are found within the blastocyst, a structure that forms within three to five days after fertilization and contains an inner mass that hosts stem cells.  These remarkable cells maintain the ability to from cells ranging from muscle, to nerve, to blood and potentially any type of cell the body makes. They can be used to repair damaged tissue, treat autoimmune disease and other degenerative disorders.


Non-embryonic Stem Cells (“Adult” Stem Cells)

The adult stem cell can renew itself and can differentiate to yield some or all of the major specialized cell types of the tissue or organ.  They are used by the body to repair and replace damaged tissue in the same area in which they are found. For example, stem cells found in bone marrow are used to make new red blood cells, white blood cells and other blood cell types.  Adult stem cells have been used to treat Autoimmune disease, Cardiovascular disease, wounds and injuries and other degenerative disorders.

Mesenchymal Stem Cells

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC’s) are stromal cells that are normally found in the bone marrow. However, MSC’s can be grown from other tissue material as well such as cord blood, peripheral blood, fetal liver, lung, and fallopian tube. Because they are multipotent stem cells, they are capable of differentiating to form cell types like adipocytes, chondrocytes, osteocytes and cardiomyocytes. Their high capacity for self-renewal gives MSC’s great potential for replacing or repairing damaged tissue such as bone, cartilage, muscle, tendons, and skin.


Adipose Tissue

Adipose tissue-derived stem cells (ADSCs) are considered to be ideal for application in regenerative therapies. Their main advantage is that they can be easily and repeatable harvested using minimally invasive techniques. These ADSC are promising candidates for cellular therapy due to their anti-inflammatory, proangiogenic, immunomodulatory, and anti-scarring effects. They have the capability of repairing and regenerating damaged cells, nerves, cartilage, bone, fat or tissues associated with most Autoimmune, Neurological, Inflammatory, Orthopedic or Degenerative disorders.

Cord Blood Stem Cells

Cord blood stem cells are harvested from the umbilical cord after childbirth.

After a baby is born, cord blood is left in the umbilical cord and placenta. It is relatively easy to collect, with no risk to the mother or baby. It contains haematopoietic (blood) stem cells.  rare cells normally found in the bone marrow.  Haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) can make every type of cell in the blood – red cells, white cells and platelets. They are responsible for maintaining blood production throughout our lives. They have been used for many years in bone marrow transplants to treat blood diseases. Cord blood stems cells can be used to treat blood cancers such as leukemia and lymphomas; and some disorders of the blood and immune system like sickle cell disease.

  • Embryonic Stem Cells - (ES)

    are incredibly valuable stem cells that are formed as normal part of embryonic development, and have the potential to become any type of cell in the body, making them invaluable for treating and studying many diseases.

  • Tissue-specific stem cells

    Tissue specific stem cells have been found in tissues such as the brain, heart, bone marrow, blood, blood vessels, skeletal muscles, skin and liver. These tissue-specific stem cells are powerful, naturally-occurring cells that can modify inflammation and promote natural healing.

  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells - (MCs)

    are tissue or “adult” stem cells, which are specialized cells found in the skeletal tissues. They can differentiate or specialize into cartilage cells, bone cells and fat cells.


What are Exosomes, and why are they useful?

Neonatal exosomes are extracellular vesicles – or small structures within a cell – released by stem cells in response to injuries. One of the most promising uses of exosomes within Orthopedics involves rheumatoid arthritis (RA), an autoimmune disorder in which inflammation leads to pain and degradation of joints.

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Conditions Treated by Stem Cell Therapy

Cellular Therapy is particularly well suited for:

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