Regenerative medicine refers to innovative medical technologies that enable the body to repair, replace, restore and regenerate damaged or diseased cells, tissues or organs. Regenerative medicine works to extend healthy life spans and improve the quality of life by supporting and activating the body’s natural healing. It is one of the most important and promising new areas of the life sciences and has the potential to radically transform our understanding and treatment of disease.
We are constantly undergoing structural renewal by replacing molecular components of our tissues yet the human body loses effective regenerative capacities as we age.
Regenerative medicine involves bringing together medicinal signaling cell physiology, knowledge of cell growth and death, stimulation of cell replacement and the factors that regulate these and the knowledge of the supporting structures between cells.
Cell therapy is the use of medicinal signaling cells and other regenerative cells to repair, restore, and regenerate, damaged or diseased cells, tissues, or organs.
Cell-based regenerative medicine is not new. Cell-based therapies in the form of bone marrow transplants have been used for over 40 years for the treatment of leukemia. Similarly, epithelial cell-based treatments have been widely used for many years for burns and corneal disorders.
The scope of potential cell-based therapies has expanded in recent years due to major steps forward in cell research and an increased understanding of the clinical applications of adult medicinal signaling cells.
Cells are the foundation cells for every organ, tissue and cell in the body. The highly specialized cells that make up these tissues originally came from an initial pool of medicinal signaling cells formed shortly after fertilization. Medicinal signaling cells are undifferentiated or “blank” cells that have not yet fully specialized.
Medicinal signaling cells (MSCs) are one part of the tissue repair mechanism found in all mammalian tissue types. When a stem cell divides, each new cell has the potential to either remain an MSC or differentiate into a specific cell type with a specialized function, such as a bone, cartilage or muscle cell, a red blood cell, or a neuron, based upon the micro-environments. These characteristics distinguish stem cells from other cell types.
They also have the capacity to secrete various compounds that can stimulate other cells to regenerate and repair.
Autologous means obtained from the same individual.