Stem cell therapy is an interesting and exciting development in medicine that has taken the world by storm in recent years. Adult stem cells (ASCs) are multipotent stem cells found in adults that work to replace damaged and dead cells. Nonsenescent cells are the most interesting as these cells renew themselves and can become any cell type present in the body.
Stem cell injection begins with harvesting adult stem cells. Cells are taken from blood or fat and stored until they are needed. It’s important to harvest stem cells because you’ll never have as many stem cells — and they will never be as potent — as they are right now.
Here’s how Regenerative and Sports Medicine collects stem cells for later use.
Take a Blood Test and Review Your Medical History
We start out with learning more about you, such as your lifestyle and your current medical history. Our team will interview and make notes of the important information. We’ll ask about family medical history too, such as any cases of cancer, diabetes, and autoimmune disorders in your family.
Our specialists will give you a physical examination and take a blood sample to determine your blood cell count. After this, you’ll be cleared for collection, and we’ll schedule the next appointment.
Prep Your Body Before the Procedure
Our specialists will guide you through the process and answer any questions you might have, such as, “how do stem cell injections work?” and “what do stem cells do when injected?” They will give you advice on how you can best prepare yourself and your body for the procedure to ensure everything goes smoothly and we get the most stem cells possible. They’ll also explain everything that happens before and after stem cell therapy so you understand the process.
Preparing Your Stem Cells for Collection
There are a few things we can do to help prepare your stem cells for extraction. The main part of this process is using Neupogen, but there are a couple of other things you can do. Our specialist will walk you through all of them. The better prepared you are, the more stem cells we can collect and the more productive the whole procedure.
Injection with FDA-Approved Neupogen
You’ll receive your first Neupogen injection three days before the extraction date. Neupogen, also known as filgrastim, is an FDA-approved stem cell mobilizing agent. The injection has been used safely for over 20 years. You’ll then receive a further injection every day until the collection date.
Neupogen is a granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) that mimics natural processes to stimulate bone barrow to release stem cells into the blood flowing through your body. Not only will this help us to collect more stem cells, but our latest research suggests that Neupogen mobilizes the highest quality stem cells. This is important as more stem cells become senescent the older we get. This means that they stop replicating. Neupogen mobilizes high-functioning and non-senescent stem cells which gives you healthier stem cells when you need them.
The Collection Process
After completing the cell mobilization therapy, it’s time to collect stem cells. There are two ways to do this — collecting from blood and collecting from fat.
Collecting Stem Cells from Blood
Harvesting stem cells from blood is done with a process called apheresis. The process is virtually painless and is like giving blood.
Apheresis collects blood through two intravenous lines. Blood is divided into stem cells and other cells, with the other cells put back in your body. The process takes up to three hours but we’ll keep you comfortable with internet access and entertainment services like Netflix and YouTube.
Collecting stem cells through apheresis yields the three types of stem cells. The stem cells are also of the highest quality, making this process one of the most effective ways to collect stem cells.
Collecting Stem Cells from Fat
Collecting stem cells from fat is called mesenchymal stem cell collection. There are two ways to collect stem cells from fat. The first is to only collect stem cells from fat using liposuction. The collected fat is sent to a laboratory for further processing and storage.
The other is to combine mesenchymal stem cell collection with apheresis following a Neupogen injection. This theoretically leads to better quality stem cells and more stem cells collected at once. Either way, your stem cells are ready when you need them.
Resume Normal Activities
You’re free to resume your regular activities after the collection process. We’ll tell you how long you should take it easy for before pushing your body too hard, but it won’t be long at all. You’ll be back on your feet before you know it.
Get the Results and Have Stem Cells Available for Use
Our medical team will get in touch with you roughly four weeks after the stem cell collection process. They will discuss the results of the process with you. The collection results include the total number of stem cells. If you opted for apheresis, we’ll also discuss the different stem cell types collected. You’ll receive a copy of your stem cell results and contact details for Regenerative Sports and Medicine.
Your stem cells are ready to use in a medical emergency as soon as they are processed. It takes roughly four weeks for stem cells taken from adipose to process. Stem cells taken from apheresis are typically available as soon as they are extracted.
Please note that we freeze stem cells ready for when they are needed. It can take between two and five business days to thaw and process stem cells for treatment once they are in storage. The good news is that they are good for a lifetime while stored.
Stem cell therapy is an evolving medical treatment using adult stem cells. These stem cells can become practically any other cell in the human body. Have your stem cells harvested and stored ready for when you need them to guarantee the best results.