What are stem cells?
Adult (not from embryonic source) Mesenchymal Stem Cells are undifferentiated cells that have the ability to replace dying cells and regenerate damaged tissue. These special cells are capable of regenerating healthy cells and enabling a person’s natural healing processes to be accelerated. Adult stem cells have been used for a variety of medical treatments to repair and regenerate damaged tissues.
There are different kinds of stem cells. Most people are familiar with “embryonic stem cell.” These are cells from the embryonic stage that have yet to differentiate – as such, they can change into any body part at all. These are then called “pluri-potential” cells. Because they are taken from unborn or unwanted embryos, there has been considerable controversy surrounding their use. While embryonic stem cells have been used outside the United States, they are not approved for use within the United States. Furthermore, embryonic stem cells have been associated with occasional tumor (teratoma) formations. There is work being conducted by several companies to isolate particular lines of embryonic stem cells for future use. West LA Medical & Skincare Stem Cell Center and the Cell Surgical Network do not use embryonic stem cells.
Our focus is on the “adult stem cell.” This is a stem cell that already resides in one’s body within different tissues. In recent times, much work has been done isolating bone-marrow derived stem cells. These are also known as “mesenchymal stem cells” because they come from the mesodermal section of your body. They can differentiate into bone and cartilage, and other mesodermal elements, such as fat, connective tissue, blood vessels, muscle and nerve tissue. Bone marrow stem cells can be extracted in low numbers, but the process is painful. Fortunately our fat is also loaded with mesenchymal stem cells. In fact, our fat has thousands of times more stem cells compared to the bone marrow. Through advances in research and technology, we are able to separate the mesenchymal stem cells from fat.