关于干细胞的主要疑问

什么是干细胞

干细胞是多细胞生物体的未分化细胞,能够发育成更多的同种细胞,通过分化形成其他类型的细胞。 为了补充其他细胞,干细胞在许多组织中作为一种特殊类型的内部修复系统。当它们分裂时,它们可能保持不变或形成另一种类型的细胞。

干细胞有什么类型

干细胞根据其效力和自我更新能力进行分类。效力是分化成新的专门细胞的能力。有两种主要类型的干细胞即胚胎干细胞和成体干细胞。
还有其他类型,如在实验室通过重编程成体细胞以展露胚胎干细胞特性而产生的诱导多能干细胞。

胚胎干细胞:
顾名思义,胚胎干细胞是从胚胎获得的。这种类型的干细胞需要特定的信号来分化成特定的细胞类型。它们从胚胎内胚层(植入前期胚胎的囊胚)中隔离出来。细胞具有无限的扩增和多潜能。在疾病或损伤后,它们在再生医学以及组织替代中发挥重要作用。

成人干细胞:
这种类型的干细胞存在于身体的许多类型的组织中,即骨髓、脑、血液、骨骼肌、肝脏和皮肤。成人干细胞比胚胎干细胞争议较少,主要是因为细胞可以在不破坏胚胎的情况下生产。此外,通过自体移植物从预期的受体获得干细胞,这降低了免疫排斥风险。
成年干细胞多年来成功地用于通过骨髓移植治疗许多相关骨癌和血癌中的白血病。

诱导性多能干细胞:
这种类型的干细胞是简单的体细胞,它们经历了遗传重编程,变成或起着胚胎干细胞的作用。细胞被重新编程以展示胚胎干细胞特性的重要基因。
尽管有必要再做进一步的研究,诱导性多能干细胞可用于药物开发以及模拟疾病。

干细胞与普通细胞
干细胞具有区别于普通细胞的独特特征。
一,干细胞是非专业化的,即使经过长时间的不活动,干细胞也能通过细胞分裂自我更新。
二,它们可以被诱导成具有特殊功能的组织/器官特异性细胞。

如何提取干细胞

用于移植的干细胞被提取或收集的身体部位取决于其来源。可以从骨髓、脐带血、循环血等中收集干细胞。一般上干细胞的来源来自骨髓,因为这是它们最集中于体内的地方。因为骨盆的骨中活性骨髓量最高,特殊的针将用以插入骨盆骨髓,以提取干细胞。
整个手术过程需要约一到两个小时来进行,间中使用普通或脊髓(硬膜外)麻醉剂。收获的骨髓数量取决于以下因素:干细胞的浓度以及供体的重量。
大多数情况下提取大约1到2品脱的骨髓。

什么是干细胞疗法

干细胞疗法可以被定义为使用干细胞来预防或治疗疾病或医疗状况,通常通过注射治疗。骨髓移植是干细胞疗法其中一个很好的例子。

如何提取干细胞

干细胞比常规治疗方法有许多优点:
  1. 逆转疾病的可能性:干细胞为患有帕金森病、心脏病以及导致细胞损伤或缺陷的遗传缺陷的病患提供可替代细胞的可再生来源。过去很难治愈或无法治愈的疾病现在可以用干细胞治疗来治疗。
  2. 加速愈合:干细胞疗法已被发现可减少愈合伤害所需的时间。
  3. 减轻疼痛:使用干细胞治疗于慢性关节疼痛之类的疾病,其痛苦相对较小。
  4. 增加功能:干细胞疗法在用于治疗关节疼痛时也增加了灵活性和运动范围。
  5. 干细胞研究表明,治疗减少了肌肉的代偿以及将来受伤的风险。
  6. 干细胞疗法也被用来治疗烧伤和创伤,以防止脱发和疤痕组织的形成。
  7. 干细胞疗法也减少了对传统医药的过度依赖。
  8. 改进的药物测试:在动物和人体模型上使用药物之前,干细胞可以安全地测试药物。

干细胞治疗的医疗条件

由于大多数医学病症是由细胞损伤或缺陷引起的,因此使用干细胞可以治疗的疾病的数量或类型没有限制。然而,由于干细胞研究仍在进行中,并不是所有的医学状况都能被干细胞治愈。以下是一些已被证明可以治疗的医疗条件:
  • 骨科伤害
  • 肌肉骨骼问题
  • 手术导致的创伤和切口
  • 脊髓损伤,椎管狭窄和脑外伤
  • 心血管疾病,如中风,充血性心力衰竭和高血压
  • 视力障碍
  • 脱发
  • 糖尿病和其他胰腺功能障碍
  • 帕金森病,阿尔茨海默病和多发性硬化症等神经退行性疾病
  • 1型糖尿病
  • 关节炎
  • 皮肤灼伤

AUTOLOGOUS MSCS VS ALLOGENEIC MSCs

What are Autologous Stem Cells?
Autologous stem cells are stem cells that are derived from the patients themselves who are undergoing therapy. An example would be using the patient’s own stem cells derived from the patient’s fat.

What are Allogeneic Stem Cells?
Allogeneic Stem cells are stem cells that are derived from a donor to be used in therapy and hence, not derived from the patient undergoing therapy. Stem cells harvested and cryopreserved from these donors are revived and administered into the patient. An example would include human umbilical cord stem cells.

What we offer?
We offer Allogeneic stem cells derived from the Wharton’s Jelly of the human umbilical cord and human deciduous dental pulp

Why do we offer Allogeneic stem cells?
  1. Age of donor
  2. Stem cells are more potent and have better differentiation potential when the donors of the stem cells are very young.

    Our clients or patients tend to be above 30 years of age (mostly in the above 40 category). This means that their cells do not have the same regenerative ability that they once did when the client/patient was young.

    The cells in the human umbilical cord are the same age as a new-born baby. Therefore, their ability to regenerate tissue is much stronger. The client/patient would get the youngest possible.

    Since human MSCs are immunoprivileged, they will not elicit an immune response when injected into another person and there will be no rejection.

  3. Standardized predictable outcome
  4. We have established standard protocols to:
    • Screen the donors to ensure they are free from infectious diseases and safe to be used
    • Isolate, harvest, cryopreserve and revive the stem cells.
    • Screen the cells to ensure they are safe for delivery
    We have also administered our allogeneic stem cells on clients/patients with different conditions and we have seen the positive effects and recorded extensive data on their progress. Based this data we’ve collected, we’re able to predict the outcome to the point where it has become standardized.

  5. Less Time consuming
  6. Taking cells from the patient itself would require:
    • An extensive screening process for the donors
    • Establishing a new protocol for isolation, harvesting, cryopreserving and reviving the cells since the cells are different. This would take a lot of time devising, testing and then implementing said protocol
    • Screening the cells again to ensure they are safe for delivery
    Using allogeneic stem cells removes the first 2 steps, as they are already established. It also will take a longer time for the autologous stem cells to work in the patient since the cells are older and less effective.

    In the case of fat stem cells from the own patient, there is the added complexity of how much body fat does the patient have. Using fat cells would require ample amounts of fat, which can only be possible in overweight patients and it would also require surgery to remove that fat. And then we will have to screen the fat cells to ensure if they can be used, and if they are not viable, then the surgery would have been a waste of time and money for the client/patient. Using our allogeneic stem cells would not require any surgery to obtain the cells and there is already an established protocol with a standardized predictable outcome.

WHAT IS PASSAGE AND WHY IS EARLY PASSAGE IMPORTANT FOR MSCs?

Passage refers to the number of subcultures after stem cells are isolated. After cells are isolated and cultured, that first culture is called Passage 0. Cells from that culture are transferred to a new cell culture media, which is called Passage 1. Cells from that culture are then transferred to another new cell culture media, which is called Passage 2. This is to prolong the life or expand the number of cells in the culture.

Early passages are better for stem cell therapy. Cells from higher passage number may alter MSCs potency and efficacy. Studies have shown that early passage number was associated with better therapeutic outcomes. The 1-year survival and response rate in those who received low passage MSCs were 75% and 86%.  Whereas those who received high-passage MSCs showed a lower 1-year survival and response rate at 21% and 36% respectively.

*Source: Nitkin, C. R. and Bonfield, T. L. (2017). Concise Review: Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy for Pediatric Disease: Perspectives on Success and Potential Improvements. Stem Cells Transl Med. 6(2): 539-565

HOW DO STEM CELLS WORK?

The most commonly known role of stem cells is their ability to develop into different organs but they also have other properties that can be very important for healing. Stem cells produce over 30 kinds of growth factors and tissue chemicals that initiate the healing process in the body. Stem cells help assemble other local and systemic mesenchymal stem cells to focus on repairing damaged tissue and organs. They are also active in immune modulation to support or suppress T-cell work in the body.

Stem cells are stimulated to travel into an area by signals from the organ depending on chemical, neural and mechanical properties.

Under ideal conditions mesenchymal stem cells would respond to damages and healing would occur. Factors that affect stem cell response include fitness of the patient, age, and the level of free radicals in the body.

5 WAYS HOW MSCs WORK

Differentiation into various distinct cell types for the damaged area.
Rescue of damaged or dying cells through cell fusion.
Secretion of paracrine factors such as growth factors, cytokines, and hormones.
Transfer of organelles (e.g., mitochondria), ions (Calcium, Magnesium, etc,) and/or molecules (RNAs, proteins, peptides, etc) through tunneling nanotubes (TNTs).
MSC-mediated transfer of proteins/peptides, RNA, hormones and/or chemicals by extracellular vesicles such as exosomes or microvesicles
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Image and content adapted from:
*Source: Spees, J.L., Lee, R.H. and Gregory, C.A. (2016). Mechanism of Mesenchymal Stem/Stromal Cell Function. Stem Cell Res Ther. 7(1): 125.

HOW DO I RECEIVE THE STEM CELLS?

Our therapy uses stem cell injections. Every patient has distinct requirements for stem cell injections and upon consultation, a custom stem cell therapy program will be designed for each individual specifically. The program will include information on the administering process, selected routes and number of stem cells to be injected. Depending on each case, stem cells can be:

  • Injected locally (e.g., osteoarthritis)
  • Intravenous injection (e.g., general wellness)
  • Intrathecal injection (e.g., spinal cord injury/Traumatic Brain Injury)

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF STEM CELL THERAPY?

  • Potential to reverse diseases: Stem cell therapy offers a better alternative for many diseases like Parkinson’s, stroke and autism. Many diseases that were hard to treat in the past can now be improved using stem cell therapy.
  • Speeds up healing: Stem cell therapy has been found to reduce the length of time it takes for injuries to heal.
  • Reduces pain: It’s less painful to treat conditions such as chronic joint pain using stem cells.
  • Increases functionality: Stem cell therapy also increases flexibility and range of motion when used to treat joint pain.
  • Reduce risk of injury: Stem cell studies have shown that the therapy reduces muscle compensations as well as the risk of injuries in the future.
  • Reduced over-dependence on conventional medicine.

WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF STEM CELL THERAPY?

Mesenchymal stem cell therapy is considered safe and effective. However, there is still a lot of ongoing research in the field. Hence, therapy should be confined to conditions where there is scientific evidence from reputable and peer-reviewed sources that shows the potential for MSCs to help in improving the condition. As a precaution, you must seek treatment from qualified medical practitioners only. This precaution is important given the existence of many unscrupulous medical practitioners who aren’t qualified to offer stem cell therapies.

Source: Zhao, Q., Ren, H., & Han, Z. (2016). Mesenchymal stem cells: Immunomodulatory capability and clinical potential in immune diseases. Journal of Cellular Immunotherapy, 2(1), 3-20. doi:10.1016/j.jocit.2014.12.001

WHY US?

All our stem cells are obtained from ethical sources. We provide stem cells at passage 2 (premium quality) for better results. Our donors are screened for infectious diseases and the cells are cultured in a sterile environment. Every batch of the cultured MSCs is tested for mycoplasma contamination and harmful bacterial toxins and MSC characterization i.e. Immunophenotyping, Trilineage differentiation and Morphology abnormality, before approval for clinical usage.

All critical equipment involved in the cell manufacturing process are in-vitro diagnostic (IVD) grade and calibrated annually (ISO 17025 standard) according to the International Society for Cell& Gene Therapy (ISCT).

We are the manufacturers of stem cells. We get the therapy direct from the source to the client with no middle-man.