How Regenerative Medicine Started
While the term “Regenerative Medicine” may be a new term in the course of medical history, the concept of the body fixing itself is not. The body’s ability to regenerate itself has been documented from ancient Greek legends to the early experiments of the Enlightenment. For thousands of years, humans knew organs like the liver were able to regenerate themselves. The process of how regeneration occurs would remain unknown for hundreds of years. In the 19th century, scientists were able to discover how the body operated through the unique activation of cells. This basic understanding of biology laid the groundwork for future experiments. One of the most important discoveries in the field of RM was the discovery of human stem cells in embryonic development.
In the 1960's Sir John Gurdon demonstrated the ability to repurpose stem cells into becoming more differentiated by regressing them into a previous state where they are more capable of changing into different cell types. One of the first stem cell research projects was conducted on a lab mouse in the 1980s. Scientists were able to extract embryonic stem cells from a mouse and conduct experiments on different genetic diseases. That stem cell experiment would pave the way for the first experiment of human embryonic stem cells. This later stem cell research focused on obtaining Vitro fertilization-derived embryonic stem cells from willing donations. Further breakthroughs would happen nearly 8 years later in the form of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Shinya Yamanaka went above and beyond previous stem cell experiments when he was able to create the first iPSCs from adult skin cells. This breakthrough would eventually gain him a Nobel Prize.
More recently in the 20th century, the practice of organ transplantation was cutting edge. These original experiments were the precursor to the modern-day regenerative medicine practice called organogenesis. Scientists and doctors are now trying to use stem cells to create organs through the process of organogenesis. There are several ways to go about creating replacement organs for humans. One highly experimental process is called Xenotransplantation. Essentially transplanting a growing organ from a different species such as a pig into a human. These trials are still at the early stages and have several major obstacles to overcome. A more popular idea is to take induced pluripotent stem cells and create human organs in a more natural process. Humans already develop organs through human embryonic stem cells during early development. Scientists have conducted successful trials where they were able to conduct successful experiments creating organs both in vitro and in living animals from organ tissue cells. More recent experiments have offered some hope for the future of organ transplants.
Scientists and other professionals are conducting clinical trials on the application of human stem cells in health treatments under the University of Southern California. Out of the more than 10 different medical conditions they are researching, one group is looking into stem cell treatments for organ failure. While current technology limits the ability for complete organ generation, scientists are in the beginning stages of stem cell research. At USC, scientists are able to create the cellular filter found in kidneys called nephrons. At this level, scientists are able to successfully conduct experiments into common kidney issues. The stem cell-derived liver nephrons are also being used to help alleviate the discrepancy from donated kidneys and the exponentially high demand. Along with kidney replacement, the researchers are looking into a possible stem cell treatment for Alzheimer's disease, heart disease, and bone growth.
In the United States, stem cell research has been impacted by the legal environment. Different cell types are under unique legislation. For instance, in the United States, there are several laws restricting human embryonic stem cells in research. However, adult stem cells are used commonly in treatments and have no legal restrictions. Similarly, samples were taken from umbilical cord blood and amniotic fluid stem cells have proven to be incredibly potent and completely legal.
Posted on 2-17-21
Regenerative Medicine & Cannabidiols
Both Regenerative Medicine and Cannabidiols (CBD) appeal to a similar subset of people seeking relief from similar conditions such as chronic joint pain. With the explosion of CBD products over the past few years and the continual growth of regenerative medicine, it was inevitable scientific studies would experiment on the combined effect. Stem cells and CBD are being used in combination to examine conditions such as Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), gene mutations, and bone health.
The combination of a specific type of Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and CBD showed some promising results in preventing AD. When a specific type of MSC was treated with CBD, it was effective against genetic markers that were connected with AD. These treated MSCs were more effective than the control set of cells leading researchers to be optimistic about its future use in fighting AD.
A study conducted in 2019 showed that when in the presence of CBD, osteogenesis occurred at a higher rate via MSCs. The scientists developed an innovative system for assisting osteogenesis. CBD infused microspheres were used in animal studies to aid the body in creating more MSCs allowing them to increase bone regeneration. CBD aids in this process by inhibiting and activating certain proteins involved in bone growth.
While previous studies showed stem cells as possible cures for diseases, they can also be used to create the perfect environment for experimenting. One such experiment researchers used stem cells with was a rare gene mutation. When mutations occur on the cyclin-dependent kinase-like 5 gene (CDKL5), seizures and death can occur early in development. Dr. Alysson Muorti is one researcher that conducts studies into possible cures for the CDKL5 mutation. The breakthrough in research came in when researchers were able to use donated stem cells from a patient who had passed away from CDKL5. These stem cells were crucial in creating an environment to test different therapeutic remedies for CDKL5. One promising cure was the strategic use of CBD. By using CBD, MSCs were able to address some of the issues associated with CDKL5 by creating the missing cells left behind by the genetic mutation. In this case, stem cells were used both in the experiment to provide a realistic setting as well as the solution for the problem the researchers set out to solve.
Posted on 2-3-2021
Regenerative Medicine & Neurological Disorders
Neurodegenerative Diseases affect people by breaking down cells in the central nervous system. Because the central nervous system is directly involved with nearly every part of the body, when the nervous system begins to shut down it can be debilitating. The two most common neurodegenerative diseases are Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease known as PD and AD respectively. While there has been much research and study into neurodegenerative diseases, there is still a long way before doctors are able to fully understand the topic. As a disease both PD and AD are very much at the early stages of treatment. One promising treatment being looked at are stem cells.
While the use of stem cells for treating other physical conditions is well documented, the treatments for neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s are less frequent. Currently the only conventional medicinal procedures for neurodegenerative disease are addressed at alleviating the symptoms, with the inability for addressing the underlying condition. In the cases of AD both animal and clinical studies have shown promising results on both efficacy and ethical dimensions (Chang-Geng Et Al.). As with many areas of study within stem cell research, the results are promising, but further research is needed.
Parkinson’s Disease or PD is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects the person's central nervous system causing a reduction in dopamine. This lack in dopamine causes the tremors and restrictive movement commonly associated with people affected by PD. Current medical procedures target the symptoms and help with day to day life. Currently there is no cure, however studies are being done with the goal of instituting preventative procedures including stem cells and proper nutrition. Certain nutrients known as phytonutrients show promising results in terms of preventing the causing factors of PD. Along with nutrition, studies involving both vitro and vivo subjects have shown promising results in assisting with PD susceptible patients (Swietlik, Shukitt-Hale.)
Parkinson’s Disease requires additional study to determine a possible cure. One promising area of study uses converted stem cells to create brain cells outside of the body. Once those cells are created from a Parkinson’s patient, the scientists can observe Parkinson's behavior in a more controlled environment. Through this process scientists noticed that the changes made to the cell by Parkinson’s could be reverted to a previous state via gene editing and “Drug like molecules” (Harvard.)
Even if regenerative medicine cannot directly cure these tough neurological disorders, it at least can improve the rate at which we could find cures by potential other means. This topic has been of high priority and discussion among neurologists for some time. We hope that a breakthrough is made soon for treating these diseases that affect so many families throughout the world.
https://www.ars.usda.gov/research/project/?accnNo=436178\ (Swietlik, Shukitt-Hale)
Athletes & Regenerative Medicine
We all come from different backgrounds, different beliefs, different cultures, but a common ground in all cultures is sports. Individuals can be even more passionate about sports and their favorite athletes than for any other aspect of culture. With such a fan following, professional athletes have to perform to the best of their ability during every game. Sometimes during a game or a practice, these athletes get injured, and these injuries can be long term issues. The recovering process can cost them their entire career and there is a lot at stake, not just for them but their fans and followers as well.
In every sport, there is potential for severe injuries, that even after treatments such as rehab and surgical methods, the athlete’s injury is not fixed to the point that they could return to his/her sport at the same level. The injury might heal completely with more time but they are not able to return to play as soon, however, in many professional sports there is only a certain period of time in an athlete’s life in which an athlete will be able to compete physically.
Many athletes are switching from painful and time-consuming methods to a less expensive yet more effective way. There is a trend among athletes to move towards getting stem cell therapies instead of surgery or other traditional treatments. Some of the most well-known athletes in the world have opted for this method. If you’re thinking that only certain injuries can be cured with stem cells or regenerative medicine, it is not completely true.
For a while, people doubted whether or not to use stem cell therapy but right after these athletes did it, it got popular in the market and many people around the globe started taking it.
Some of the most recognizable names in sports have used these methods, including Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant, Garrett Richards, Christiano Ronaldo, David Payne, and many more! These athletes all needed stem cell therapy for different areas and injuries. Some did it for knees, some for the ligaments, some tendons, and much more (such as pain caused by Musculoskeletal injuries). The most common question asked after a famous athlete goes through the regenerative medicine path is why did they choose it? Is it safe? Is this the proper form of treatment for my injury? And the answer is yes. It is completely safe and is very effective as well as less expensive and less painful. And many people choose it over other treatments because they can go back to normal and their issues are resolved. And athletes use it so they can play again and they don’t have to give up their career. Instead of taking steroids, people are taking stem cell injections which are completely different from steroids. Steroids treat the pain, not the underlying issue, and therefore, an individual can have the pain back within a few weeks but stem cell injections can work for many years. Steroids ultimately destroy the body in the long run whereas stem cells are working towards rebuilding the body. In stem cell therapy, the cells can be taken from the patient's own body and implanted back into them with some medical process, this is also called tissue engineering which helps the tissues to regenerate and keep multiplying to keep the growth going on.
Athletes go through a lot of injuries, some of which include the MCL(Medial Collateral Ligament), ACL(Anterior Cruciate Ligament), tendon injuries, knee injuries, which could take a long time to recover from, but some athletes have been proactive in the prevention stage of their career and they decide what is right for them and they take precautions accordingly. Some go under intensive exercise mode to keep themselves more active and fit. Some also go a more scientific route in order to have their bodies working at their best. They start taking regenerative medicine pathways via stem cell therapy, which helps them make their body and stem cells work more effectively and prevents most cases of injuries and helps recover faster. But before taking any step, one should see a doctor and get their advice.
Clinical Trials and Stem Cell Research
Stem cell trials and different experiments performed with them have been around for a long time. Scholars all around the world have been researching the effects and potential benefits of stem cells and now with the help of tissue engineering scientists and engineers have had a lot of success in the field of regenerative medicine. It is important to note that these experiments play a crucial role in understanding the human body's self repair mechanisms as it will not only help us find easier ways to help with functionality, but it is also a less expensive way in which people can avoid surgery. It was also found that in 2014, “70% of these trials were sponsored by academic institutions and 30% by private sector companies”, according to ScienceDirect.
Human stem cells are not just tested on humans but these cells have been tested on animals as well. There are many experiments that are proving the effectiveness of regenerative medicine and stem cell therapy. These experiments and trials have opened many opportunities in medical science to develop and treat different areas of the body, and many different diseases. Some of the findings have shown a biological difference between the functionality of the different human cells like the embryonic and the adult cells.
Embryonic cells are seen progressing and helping develop tissues in animals whereas adult cells from the bone marrow are proven helpful in therapies and curing mature cell diseases and helping in killing those diseased cells. Some of the trials are still being done in order to fully understand their qualities. Even the Mesenchymal cells like adipose tissue, umbilical cord, and bone marrow have shown a lot of progress in most of the clinical trials.
According to the findings from The Conversation, stem cells were used to test drugs, in which “researchers could take a skin sample of a patient, induced pluripotent stem cells from the mutation, and then make neurons out of these cells.” Another trial was done when 3 patients experienced a loss in vision when they got injected with body fat stem cells. And this happened because body fat stem cells are adult cells and they are more complex than the embryonic cells because the adult cells cannot develop into any cell type, they can only be a subset of mature cells. It is important to get them in the right quantity and it's harder to find them as well.
Despite the failures of major organ stem cell treatment like the brain, it has been fairly successful in areas like joint pain, back pain, tissue regeneration, dentistry, and much more. According to the findings from Nature News, “a Japanese woman was announced to be the first person who had her cornea repaired using a programmed stem cell.”
When we think about the types of diseases that can be cured by stem cells, there isn’t a limit. There is a lot success and progress that is occurring in stem cell trials. If you feel you need to get surgery or a stem cell injection, it is highly recommended to talk with your provider before making any of those decisions. When done in a properly regulated clinic, there are very few risks.
Posted on 12-9-2020
The Different Types of Stem Cells
Stem cells are special kinds of cells in your body that have the ability to divide themselves and renew joint damage by helping in the formation of the tissues and organs. Due to their proficient abilities, they are being widely used in the healthcare industry. There are many different ways to obtain stem cells. For example, adult stem cells can be isolated from your own body via bone marrow extraction, or mesenchymal stem cells that are derived from a healthy mothers donated umbilical cord. These cells can do wonders for our bodies and are often divided into different parts to perform different roles.
There are typically four ways in which stem cells can be categorized:
Embryonic Stem Cells- these are acquired from the inner mass cell of a blastocyst; which substantially forms the embryo. It gives rise to the other specialized cells which further gives rise to the whole body. These are pluripotent, which means they could rise to be any kind of cell in our fully formed body. It is used in many therapies to help gain knowledge about the structure and function as well as testing drugs and for therapies on these cells.
Tissue-Specific Stem Cells- These stem cells work towards the development of the tissue-specific cells which means they work on the tissue in which they are found to help the cells generate different cell types. They are more specialized than embryonic. These are typically hard to find in the human cells and are not self renewable.
Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (IPS)- These cells are not naturally occurring, rather are made with tissue engineering of the tissue-specific cells into the embryonic cells. These are generally created for scientific use and are mostly for testing drugs and cell therapies. Scientists are still exploring the difference between IPS and embryonic stem cells as they have some similar functions, but IPS are incapable of giving rise to all types of cells.
Mesenchymal Stem Cells- One of the most important stem cells, which has the ability to not just renew itself but expand as well. They play a huge role in the field of regenerative medicine. Helps in repopulating the stem cells in the process of regeneration. They were first discovered in the bone marrow and are able to develop bones, cartilage, and fat cells.
Here at Minneapolis Regenerative Medicine we use Mesenchymal stem cells derived from donated umbilical cord tissue to help regenerate the damaged areas of your body. Mesenchymal cells stand out because of their potential to not just heal and develop the affected area but also the duration of their benefits and functionality. It is the most ethically sourced and proven type of stem cell for joint point we currently have available. Please feel free to call us to learn more at 612-424-6942!
Posted on 12-2-2020
Regenerative Medicine in the World of Sports
When an athlete gets injured many injuries can cause an individual to be out for many months to a whole year. The recovery process from many of these injuries could be the result of the recovery process from a surgical procedure. Even after going through the lengthy process of recovery, an athlete may not necessarily be able to perform to the same level. By choosing regenerative medicine, this can be a faster recovery process with fewer risks of complications. In addition, through regenerative medicine, there are fewer limitations on a person’s athletic performance, likely due to the reduction in scar tissue and as a result more mobility in a joint than in a surgical option.
There have been numerous high-profile professional athletes that have opted to go the route of regenerative medicine. Some leagues that these athletes participate in include the National Football League and Major League Baseball. These professional athletes have started a conversation among the medical community as to whether Regenerative medicine should be used to treat sports-related injuries. The public attention has resulted in there being much more of a focus on these areas in the stem cell research community. Many stem cell treatments for sports injuries are still in the midst of clinical trials.
Young athletes are experiencing higher rates of joint trauma than their peers who do not participate in sports. One of the most common injuries in young athletes is an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear or a meniscal cruciate ligament (MCL) tear. These kinds of tears most often require surgery in order to regain stability in the knee. The recovery process from this surgery is 6 to 8 months! In addition, once an individual has torn their ACL or MCL, they are much more likely to tear it again, and later in life these individuals are exponentially more likely to need a knee replacement. One solution to these problems could be regenerative medicine! Regenerative therapies that could specifically help with this kind of injury could be platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and Human Umbilical Cord Tissue Mesenchymal Stem Cells (HUCT).
Treatment with PRP cells has been shown to reduce pain levels and increase the functionality of the treated area. In addition, success has been seen in repairing an ACL injury using regenerative medicine in young patients.
Another very common problem for athletes in sports is overuse injuries. Most individuals in the world have a dominant side, this results in athletes especially tending to overuse that side of their body, and depending on the sport certain joints are overused more than others. Overuse of a joint leads to damage of tissue and causes tissue to not be able to remodel and repair itself. After a certain threshold of tissue damage has occurred a joint or tendon is not able to repair itself. Overuse injuries are very common in many sports, some of these sports are soccer, track, hockey, basketball, softball, and baseball. These are the kinds of injuries that many professional athletes have used stem cell therapy in order to repair.
If you feel you could benefit from stem cell regenerative medicine or have any questions regarding regenerative medicine, you can reach us at 612-424-6943 or contact us via our website at www.mplsregenmed.com. We are located at 505 1st Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413.
Joint Inflammation - Causes and Treatments
In today’s busy life, some health issues go unnoticed until one day it hits us all of a sudden. This is often the case with joint inflammation problems. Joints connect two or more bones in our body and are surrounded by soft tissues. Lots of people in America are performing jobs that have a physical component to them. During physically intensive labor, we often overwork our joints, and there can be any number of reasons as to why there is inflammation. Some reasons for joint pain can be related to our physical activities but also to the food we eat, and for some, the functionality of our immune system.
Joint inflammation can be painful and very uncomfortable.
Some joint pain is long term, while other forms of joint pain will go away with time. The time frame can be a big factor in determining the type of inflammation and can help a provider to understand the situation better because the structure and function of our bodies are unique to each of us. Different areas might require different therapies and medicine for the proper healing process. There can be initial uncertainty about joint pain because some pain can be chronic, while some can occur from an acute injury or the tissues could be damaged.
Unlike common reasons such as dislocation, bone erosion, Rheumatoid and Osteoarthritis, and gout, there can be other causes of the inflammation, such as weakening of the tissues and muscles, joint swelling, joint fusion ,and ligament damage. While these are some reasons related to joint inflammation they are not limited. For a better understanding of an individual case, one must visit their provider to learn more about their specific conditions and see what services can be provided. At Minneapolis Regenerative Medicine we offer a consult, exam, digital x rays, and report of findings to initially figure out what exactly the cause of your pain is.
We talked about the problems and the sources of joint pain, but the solutions can be different from case to case. It depends on how a person wants to be treated and what the best solution for their condition is. Some people go for massages when they have slight inflammation, some go for physical therapies to ease the pain, some who have been a part of an accident or have long term, intense pain go with surgery, and some patients take different sorts of pain relievers or ice down the joint for short term treatment.
Regenerative medicine offers long term pain relief and is a fraction of the cost of undergoing surgery. It addresses the root cause of your joint pain and actually regenerates the damaged tissues, ligaments, or cartilage instead of just masking the pain for a short time. It is a one time, non invasive procedure that has had no negative side effects in the patients that we have helped. We offer 3, 6 and 12 month follow up visits to evaluate your progress and offer advice based on how your body is reacting to the stem cell therapy. Check out our other resources explaining the process in much greater detail under our regenerative therapy tab on our website. Lets stop with the ice packs, pain pills, and expensive surgeries and work on a long term, healthy solution to your joint pain together today!
You can contact us with any questions related to regenerative medicine at 612-424-6943 or contact us via our website at www.mplsregenmed.com. We are located at 505 1st Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413.
Cortisone Shots and Your Body
Cortisone shots were introduced in the 1940s for anti-inflammatory uses on several different areas of the body including joints for pain relief. It was mainly introduced as a relief shot for arthritis. Cortisone is basically a steroid and is active as an agent to convert proteins to carbohydrates. These shots are often limited use per year at the doctor’s office as the undesired amount can have several side effects.
Cortisone shots are injected in an area of the pain. According to Summit Ortho, “the injection shuts down collagen-producing cells in the tendon or joint”, which simply means that it calms the inflammation area and nerves, but doesn’t cure the problem completely. Even after taking the cortisone shots, the problems can return in a matter of weeks or months. It is not a permanent cure. These shots are generally covered under insurance, but sometimes it can vary depending on the case and the area where it is needed.
People often get confused about the areas where the cortisone shots work. Doctors can use it in many different areas of care such as:
Pain relief (In areas with arthritis/osteoarthritis)
Although the cortisone shot treatments can help get rid of the pain for a small amount of time, there are also disadvantages associated with it as well. The cortisone eats away at joints over time. The surrounding tissues can lose their level of function surrounding the area of injection. People who have diabetes should see a doctor before taking the shots because these shots can increase their sugar levels. Apart from that, there are some other long term effects as well such as thinning of skin and bone, tendon rupture, nerve damage, acne, weight gain, and tissue damage.
There are several alternatives in the market to replace the cortisone shots and one of them is stem cell therapy. Cortisone lasts for a temporary period whereas regenerative medicines can last for many years and people generally don’t need a second treatment. The stem cell rebuilds the cells while the cortisone damages the joints and bones. Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) treatments can also be used in harmony with stem cell treatments and while it might cost more than the cortisone does, it lasts longer and is not harming the patient’s body in any way. Before deciding what type of injection to use for your pain, you should first see your provider and ask about all of these options.
Why Choose Regenerative Medicine Over Other Methods?
Just like our bodies, our tissues get old. Sometimes, damaged tissue cannot grow back or produce the same number of cells as they used to, which often leads to organ damage, simple muscle problems, or joint pain. But what are the ways that we can fix it? There are a lot of things that are being tried on the market to fix organ and tissue damage. But are all those procedures safe? Can we trust them? To get the correct answer we need to study the pros and cons of each method.
The first and safest strategy to protect from organ damage and to fix tissues is with regenerative medicine. Other methods include decellularization and surgery replacement. Regenerative medicine is a form of tissue engineering that utilizes the body's own ability to repair damaged tissues and organs by differentiating into bone, cartilage, blood vessels, muscle, ligament, or adipose tissue (fat cells) and is delivered in the form of a simple injection. Whereas, decellularization is used in biomedical engineering to isolate the Extracellular Matrix (ECM) of a tissue from its inhabiting cells, leaving an ECM Scaffold of the original tissue, which can be used in artificial organs and tissue regeneration.
Those are some very technical terms and probably very hard to understand, so to make it simpler and to break it down this process simply is regenerative, nothing is taken out of your body - your body repopulates the tissues to heal and grow from the resources in an injection. Whereas in decellularization, the tissues and the damaged cells are taken out of your body. And then there comes the bigger issue which is the surgery and transplantation. This takes place in the most intense ways to replace organs from the body, which the majority of the people would prefer not to need, as it is painful and has long term side effects. The experience, as well as treatment methods with both of them, are different.Although Regenerative Medicine was coined in 1999, the idea and significance have been in the medical community for a long time.
According to many researchers, regenerative medicine methods and studies have been proven to be the most effective treatment amongst these other methods. But how much do we know about the benefits of regenerative medicine? It helps in the process of eliminating pain and is a faster healing process overall. In addition, it can also increase the body’s capacity for healing and decrease the risk of future injuries.
You can reach us with any questions related to Regenerative Medicine at 612-424-6943 or contact us via our website at www.mplsregenmed.com. We are located at 505 1st Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413.
Harris D. T. (2014). Mesenchymal Cell Banking for Regenerative and Personalized Medicine. Biomedicines, 2(1), 50–79. https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines2010050