The concept behind cellular therapies is to use one’s own stem cells to re-populate specific cells that may be defective or dead. There are several disorders that require the transplant of new cells to replace dead or damaged cells. In order to treat these disorders genetically matched stem cells are needed. That is the main reason why it is beneficial to bank one’s own stem cells, since they are an exact genetic match for the individual.
One of the key properties of Mesenchymal Stem Cells is their ability to hone in on the site of damage. Most stem cells can be administered systemically (intravenously) and they will migrate to the site of injury. Once there, the stem cells will receive chemical “communications” from the cells of the damaged tissue which will cause the stem cells to differentiate into the cells of the damaged tissue to repair said tissue.
Regenerative Medicine is an emerging field involving stem cell therapy. Regenerative Medicine will employ methods to restore the function of damaged tissue and organs. The four main aspects in regenerative medicine are:
- Artificial Organs and Medical Devices
- Tissue engineering and biomaterials
- Cellular Therapies
- Clinical Translation