Fat Derived Stem Cell Injections
The human body is created to work like a complicated machine, but even in this complicated machine, there is one very small vital worker necessary to create the framework of cartilage, tendon, bone and ligament. That worker is the stem cell. This cell has the ability to differentiate into many different types of cells in the human body. Harvesting stem cells has the potential to assist in the healing of damaged musculoskeletal tissue such as tendonitis, ligament injury, cartilage damage and joint arthritis. This may help people lead a more active, happier and healthier life.
Adipose Tissue as a Stem Cell Source
Adipose tissue was identified as being a great source for stem cells. While harvesting and isolating stem cells from adipose tissue takes considerably longer than other methods, people can choose to store them and use them at a later date. Another important advantage of fat derived stem cell injections is that they are harvested from the same patient and do not involve the use of embryos.
How are stem cells harvested from fat?
A few small incisions are made in the patient’s abdomen, and a small amount of adipose tissue is removed through a procedure akin to liposuction. Afterwards, the stem cells are isolated from fat through centrifugation. As a treatment, they are injected afterwards in the joints, tendons, or ligaments that require attention.
How is the Adipose Stem Cell Procedure performed?
It is actually a seven step process.
1. The patient’s blood is extracted.
2. The blood is centrifuged to create platelet rich plasma.
3. A small amount (~50-100 cc) of fat is taken from the waist area.
4. An enzyme is used to break down fat cells, leaving concentrated stem cells.
5. The stem cells are mixed with the PRP.
6. The stem cells and PRP are activated with light (Adi-Light 2).
7. The concentrate is injected into the area of concern for potential regeneration.
What Research is there to support Fat Derived Stem Cells?
As with Bone Marrow Derived Stem Cells and Amnion Derived Stem Cell Rich material, Fat Derived Stem Cells have animal studies that have been promising for tissue regeneration.
Multiple studies in animals have shown effectiveness of Adipose Derived Stem cells in bone defect repair, along with having excellent proliferative capacity in a human in-vitro model. (Choudhery et al 2013, Kang et al 2013). However, some doctors, such as Centeno et al. (2010), argue that for repairing tissues such as cartilage, bone marrow stem cells should work better, whereas adipose tissue would be better for other tissues such as skin. This was supported by Li et al. (2011).