11 Oct How Are Stem Cells Harvested?
“Stem cells” is a very broad term for any type of undifferentiated cell. There are many different types of stem cells. These include embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells, induced pluripotent stem cells. Adult stem cells can be derived from various parts of the body. One of these is adipose-derived stem cells. Adipose-derived stem cells are harvested from a patient’s fat tissue. They are abundant and widely used in stem cell therapy.
Adipose-derived stem cells are widely used in regenerative medicine because they are widely available. In addition, the process for harvesting adipose-derived tissues is minimally invasive. These stem cells possess proliferation that does not decline with age, unlike stem cells derived from other parts of the body. They have also been proved superior when compared to bone marrow-derived stem cells in many research studies.
Harvesting adipose-derived stem cells from adult fat tissue is a minimally invasive process. The patient is put under a local anesthetic, which is low in the risk of complications. In the body, collagen is used to bind stem cells to fat cells. This collagen bond is chemically broken down to free the stem cells. Once the collagen is broken down, scientists can create a stem cell-rich solution. This process yields a large number of stem cells that can be used on the patient. Producing a large number of stem cells is important. Stem cells are quantity dependent. This means, the more stem cells harvested, the bigger the chance the stem cell therapy will be successful.
One of the largest benefits of harvesting stem cells from a patient’s adipose tissue is the limited risk of rejection. Because the stem cells are coming directly from the patient’s own body, the body will not recognize the cells as being “foreign.” In addition, adipose tissue yields the largest amount of stem cells. The same cannot be said for stem cells harvested from other places in the body. In addition, because the process is minimally invasive, the risk to the patient is low and is another harvest needs to be completed, it can be done so without a large amount of risk. The entire process of harvesting adipose-derived stem cells and injecting them back into the patient takes about three hours. While this is a time commitment, it is a one-time commitment and does not require ongoing appointments.
Overall, the process of harvesting adipose-derived stem cells is relatively simple and harmless to the patient. Along with being a minimally invasive procedure, it gives the patient the largest yield possible of stem cells. One of the biggest boundaries in widespread stem cell use is patient access to the treatment. Minimally invasive procedures that can be quickly completed are key to ensuring patients have access to stem cell therapy. As more research is conducted on stem cells, physicians will become more efficient in the harvesting and use of stem cell therapy. Stem cells are still a new field of study. But there is lots of hope for the future of stem cell therapy.