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What if aging was optional? With the advances in Regenerative Medicine, it could be! By using your own cells to restore and repair damaged tissue, you could slow down the aging process and maintain your youthful appearance and health. Imagine a world where you could choose to age gracefully or stay young forever. The possibilities are just an injection away!
Think of how a starfish can regenerate a limb, or how an amphibian salamander can do the same. These creatures are much lower on the evolutionary ladder than humans, yet they have this pre-programmed ability. Certainly, there is further potential in the human body for the same.
And this what we are seeing. Regenerative Medicine is not just “on the horizon” medicine or something of the future. We are seeing advances in all sorts of cellular technologies, immunotherapies, gene therapies, and stem cell therapies. And many of these treatments are available for use today.
This interdisciplinary field of science focuses on the use of stem cells, gene therapy, and other advanced techniques to repair, replace, or regenerate damaged or diseased cells, tissues, and organs. Regenerative medicine is revolutionizing the way we think about aging and health, and it is providing new hope for those suffering from age-related diseases and conditions. This revolutionary field of medicine has the potential to treat a wide range of conditions, from heart disease and cancer to spinal cord injuries and Alzheimer’s disease. It is helping athletes get back to their sport without the side effects of medication and it’s getting weekend warriors back to normal using natural cell-based therapies.
Stem cells have been showing great promise. What was once a controversial issue due to the use of embryonic stem cells is now widely accepted through the use of non-embyonic adult somatic cells. Nearly every adult tissue in the adult body has some stem cell source. They be harvested from a variety of sources, including the patient’s own fat tissue, bone marrow, and even from hair follicles. But other ethical neonatal sources are also readily available from umbilical cord blood, placental tissue and other sources, safely using tissue that would otherwise be thrown away to help pave the way towards scientific progress.
The Regenerative Medicine Revolution is also making it possible to use gene therapy to treat a variety of diseases. Gene therapy involves introducing new genes into cells to replace defective ones. This can be used to treat genetic diseases, such as cystic fibrosis, as well as to help the body fight off cancer and other diseases. Very soon some of our most tragic diagnosis will simply be a DNA splice away from a complete cure.
Through bioprinting and tissue engineering, scientists are also developing new organs and tissues. Tissue engineering involves combining cells, scaffolds, and other materials to create replicate models of those tissues which are biologically active. The result is the engineering of new hearts, livers, and other organs, as well as the ability to repair damaged organs.
Perhaps the one the most studied and employed type of regenerative technology is the use of platelet rich plasma for healing joints, tendons, and ligaments. Platelet Rich Plasma is made by taking a portion of a patient’s blood and through a process of centrifuging the blood, the red blood cells are separated from the platelets which can then be concentrated. The concentrated platelets can then be activated which induces them to release powerful growth factors into the surrounding environment. Clinical studies have shown that PRP injections are of much benefit to areas in need of repair such as the elbow, wrist, shoulder, hip or knee tendons and joints. And when you feel improvement from a regenerative treatment, you can be certain that the improvement is from repair, unlike steroids and other pain medications designed to simply reduce swelling and chronic pain.
Ryan Welter MD PhD is the CEO of Regeneris Medical.