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Stem Cell Treatment Center

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What Is a Stem Cell?

What Is a Stem Cell?

What Is a Stem Cell?

A stem cell is basically any cell that can replicate and differentiate. This means the cell can not only multiply, but it can also turn into various tissue types. There are several kinds of stem cells.

Most people are most familiar with embryonic stem cells. These cells from the embryonic stage of development are “pluripotent” because they have yet to differentiate and can change into any body part. Because they are taken from unborn embryos, there has been considerable controversy surrounding their use. Furthermore, while they have shown promise in some areas of medicine, they have also been associated with occasional tumor (teratoma) formation. Stem cell research is being conducted by several companies, most of them outside the United States, to isolate particular lines of embryonic cells for future use.

Adult Stem Cells…

Another kind of stem cells are adult stem cells, which reside in different tissues in the body. In recent years, much of the adult stem cell research has been done on bone marrow-derived stem cells. Also known as “mesenchymal stem cells” because they come from the mesodermal areas of the body, they can differentiate into mesodermal cell types such as bone, cartilage, fat, connective tissue, blood vessels, muscles, and nerves. Because these stem cells are low in numbers, they are usually cultured after extraction from the bone marrow in order to multiply their numbers for therapeutic use.

…From Your Own Fat 

As it turns out, adipose tissue (fat) is also loaded with mesenchymal stem cells. In fact, fat has hundreds, if not thousands of times more stem cells than bone marrow. Most of us have adequate stores of fat, which is relatively easy to exact through a liposuction procedure. At the Newport Beach Stem Cell Treatment Center, we have technology that allows us to separate large quantities of stem cells from fat, so there is no need to culture the cells over a period of days. Therefore, your own stem cells can be used right away.

Fat-derived adult stem cells are known as “progenitor” cells. This means they remain dormant (do nothing) until they are signaled by tissue damage. That’s when they get to work. They home in on areas of injury or degeneration and turn on the healing process. They may simply change into the cell type the damaged area needs for repair. They also appear to reduce inflammation and signal growth factors and other mechanisms of tissue regeneration. Multiple animal models and a plethora of human evidence demonstrates significant regenerative effects of fat-derived adult stem cells.