What Is Regenerative Medicine And How Can It Help You?
Did you know that your body comes built with a self-healing feature? Whenever you cut yourself, scrape a knee, or break a bone, the body is able to heal itself and regenerate. The body can only do so much, though, and in specific health issues like diabetes and heart disease, the body’s regenerative capability is limited.
In light of that, a relatively new field in health sciences called regenerative medicine comes to play. Various experts and doctors are looking for therapies and strategies that replicate your body’s regenerative mechanisms to cure more complex ailments. Read on to learn more.
What Is Regenerative Medicine?
The main objective of regenerative medicine is to replace organs or tissues that are damaged by trauma, disease, or congenital issues. This started gaining traction in the 1990s as scientists worked on tissue engineering for skin grafting and stem cell research. Regenerative medicine differs from the current clinical strategy, which addresses the symptoms through medications or procedures.
While many types of regenerative medicine research are still in progress, some have already been implemented. One of them is stem cell therapy. In stem cell therapy, scientists develop specialized stem cells in the laboratory. Depending on what’s needed, scientists can order these stem cells to act like particular types of cells, such as those in your nerves, heart, or blood.
For instance, if you have a heart issue, these lab-created heart muscle cells may be employed as transplanted tissue to assist in repairing and replacing damaged heart cells.
There are several sources for stem cells, such as:
- Adult stem cells: These are stem cells that are seen in most adult tissues, such as fat or bone marrow, in small numbers.
- Perinatal stem cells: These stem cells are found in amniotic fluid and umbilical cord blood.
- Embryonic stem cells: These stem cells originate from 3 to 5 days old embryos called blastocysts that consist of 150 cells.
- Adult cells That Mimic The Properties Of Embryonic Stem Cells: Scientists have successfully re-engineered normal adult cells into stem cells through genetic reprogramming. After such process, they behave and act like embryonic stem cells.
Overall, if you’re looking for specialists that also focus on regenerative medicine, look for walkerspineandsport.com and others online.
Three Types Of Regenerative Medicine Treatments Besides Stem Cell Therapy
This type of regenerative therapy addresses injured joints and connective tissues. It’s usually applied to address whiplash, degenerative disc disease, and arthritis. Doctors can use it on the person’s shoulders, knees, back, hip, hands, and neck.
In this therapy, the doctor will inject a liquid solution containing substances like saline and dextrose into the body area that needs healing. These injections often have a numbing agent like lidocaine also.
- Cartilage Regeneration
This type of regenerative therapy focuses on people with musculoskeletal problems with the goal of healing damaged cartilage. Cartilage doesn’t restore well by itself because it doesn’t contain blood vessels and doesn’t have a blood supply at all times.
There are a lot of techniques employed for cartilage regeneration, and they’re fit for active individuals below 55 years old. Likewise, this can be good alongside a visit with a chiropractor.
- Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP)
This regenerative therapy is based on the hypothesis that plasma and platelets that form in the blood can treat and repair injuries. PRP treatments are often employed in sports medicine to treat tendon injuries.
To create platelet-rich plasma, blood is obtained from the patient and later processed to make a concentrated solution containing more platelets and plasma than normal blood. A centrifuge is usually utilized to develop this solution. Likewise, PRP is either employed during surgery or injected into the tendon under concern.
Concentrations In The Field Of Regenerative Medicine
The tools that medical professionals can use in regenerative medicine are cellular therapies, artificial organs, tissue engineering, and medical devices. Combining these tools can boost the person’s healing process in the body areas that need it most.
- Cellular Therapies
Millions of adult stem cells can be discovered in every human being, and our body utilizes stem cells as a way to repair itself. Studies have shown that people can reconstruct the tissue under the right conditions if the damaged or diseased tissue area is injected with adult stem cells.
Currently, clinicians and scientists are honing and refining their capability to set out harvested stem cells that are meant to be injected into the patient’s damaged or diseased tissue to repair them.
- Medical Devices And Artificial Organs
In situations where a human organ fails to function, the chief clinical strategy employed is to have a transplant of a replacement organ from a suitable donor.
In addition, there are many cases where the time to find a suitable organ from a donor demands an interim strategy to assist or supplement the function of a failing organ until a transplantable donor organ can be present. Using circulatory support as a sample, there are devices in different stages of maturity, such as employing ventricular assist devices (VADs) from the start to become a bridge to a heart transplant. Now some VADs are utilized for long-term circulatory assistance (destination therapy).
At present, clinicians and scientists from around the globe are creating and assessing devices that can supplement or take over the role of various human organs such as the liver, heart, and lungs.
- Tissue Engineering And Biomaterials
Tissue engineering is a method where biologically well-matched scaffolds are implanted in the body at the area where fresh tissue is created. If the tissue to be developed has a scaffold similar in geometric shape, and the scaffold attracts the cells, the result is a fresh tissue in the form that’s wanted. Likewise, if the newly shaped tissue is subjected to exercise as it develops, it can result in a freshly engineered tissue.
Health Conditions And Other Therapies That It Is Used For
Examples of some other therapies and specific health issues where medical professionals can use regenerative medicine are the following:
- Cardiovascular tissue repair
- Brain injury tissue repair
- Immune system improvement
- Skin wounds
- Type 1 diabetes
- Certain cancers
- Spinal cord injuries
- Parkinson’s disease
How Can It Help You?
- It Can Strengthen Your Body
Despite having a full recovery, the impacts of regenerative medicine can remain as this treatment can strengthen the treated body areas. By injecting new and healthy cells, you can build up the tissues’ condition.
- You Can Avoid Surgery
This type of medical treatment can delay or lessen the need for surgery by using the natural healing ability of your body. And so, you can also avoid breaking the bank with invasive procedures that have costs alongside them.
As regenerative therapies such as stem cell and PRP therapy are less invasive, you won’t have to undergo downtime from surgical treatments. Often, you can continue your regular activities after the treatment.
- It Doesn’t Require General Anesthesia And Medications
Your specialist will use ultrasound technology to ensure the injection is explicitly applied to the proper body area. Though some numbing medicines will be injected into the body area before or during the treatment to ensure that there will be minor discomfort, there’s no need for pain relievers or general anesthesia concerning regenerative medicine.
However, if you’re taking pain medicines, you and your specialist must communicate a plan to go on with the treatment until you possibly see outcomes from the regenerative therapies.
- It Provides A Quicker Healing Process
Regenerative medicine is famed for its quicker healing process compared to conventional treatments that exist at present. Stem cells and PRP therapy, for example, are quick in treating injured joints and tissue by raising the body’s ability to heal itself after an injury.
Although a few weeks may be needed to see the results between minimal recovery time and complementary therapies, you will start to notice significant changes as time moves forward.
- It Is A Safe Treatment
This type of treatment is a safer procedure for repairing tissues because specialists use autologous resources most of the time. This implies that the medicine originates from the person’s body, which readily accepts the therapy.
For instance, medical professionals gather and isolate a person’s platelets with PRP treatment. The same is true of stem cell therapy which uses your cells.
Regenerative medicine is a type of treatment where an organ or tissue badly affected by trauma, congenital issues, or disease is replaced. There are various regenerative therapies to note, such as stem cell therapy and prolotherapy. Likewise, there are lots of benefits it can give, such as it’s a safe treatment and is a way to strengthen the body more.
Regenerative medicine is a scientific breakthrough that’s still in progress. However, it’s promising, and people can benefit from it. This treatment can help more people with specific health issues in the long run. Scientists and researchers are working hard to make this more accessible to everyone in the future.
Overall, if you think regenerative medicine can help you or your loved one, it’s still suitable to ask a medical professional to know the right course of action.