Stem cells are basic human cells that help regenerate damaged tissue. Their special property is that they are capable of dividing and renewing themselves perpetually as different organs tissue in the body, i.e., heart, brain, liver, skin, etc.
Stem cells can be found in the bloodstream, placenta, umbilical cord, fat cells and bone marrow. It is widely known that stem cells are crucial to the production of blood cells and our incredible immune system.
A. Mesenchymal Stem cells or MSCs
Mesenchymal Stem cells or MSCs are stem cells from umbilical cord tissue and placenta tissue. They can be used with every patient without any needs of tissue typing or histocompatibility test. With their unique properties, MSCs help decreases cellular inflammation. That is why many researches are focusing on the development of the use of MSCs in cellular rejuvenation or anti-aging medicine.
- Umbilical Cord-Mesenchymal Stem Cells (UC-MSCs)
This kind of stem cells helps restore the cell quality and reduce cell death. UC-MSCs also help regulate the overactive immune system which is the cause of many diseases such as Allergic Diseases, Systematic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), Gout, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and Type 1 Diabetes.
Another UC-MSCs remarkable property is used in the anti-aging and aesthetic treatments. UC-MSCs have the capability to help reduce lines and wrinkles, minimize the appearance of pores, keep the skin hydrated and look young, soften rough skin, and reduce blemishes and redness. With senior clients, UC-MSCs help them become stronger and healthier. They ease the aches and pain of aging and relieve the pain from osteoarthritis of the knees. Thus, helping senior clients have better quality of lives and perform activities of daily lives better.
UC-MSCs treatment is also much safer than the use of cells from animals or other living organisms.
- Amnion Membrane-Mesenchymal Stem Cells (AM-MSCs)
Currently, many reports state that AM-MSCs have the exact same property as UM-MSCs but with smaller size. Therefore, it is believed that AM-MSCs can penetrate into the inflamed and hard-to-reach areas better. There are also increasing reports of the use of AM-MSCs in the treatment of brain and spinal cord diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, or brain and spinal cord injuries.
- Adipose Tissue-Mesenchymal Stem Cells (AD-MSCs)
AD-MSCs are stem cells in the fat obtained after the liposuction procedure. This kind of stem cells can only be used with the owner of the stem cells and not with other people. Therefore, they are considered very safe. AD-MSCs are often used in the aesthetic or cosmetic surgeries such as breast augmentation or lipo filling procedures in the cheeks, eyes, lips or chin.
B. Peripheral Blood Stem Cells or PBSCs
PBSCs are blood-forming stem cells found in the bloodstream. Normally, not many PBSCs are found in the circulatory system. However, their number can be enhanced by the use of cytokine or other appropriate stimulus such as G-CSF (glycoprotein that stimulates the bone marrow to produce stem cells). Or sometimes, their numbers are increased after the recovery of the bone marrow (a natural process in human body after receiving chemotherapy).
It is also found that the amount of stem cells in the bloodstream is crucial to our health. People with the appropriate numbers of circulating stem cells are found to be healthier than the patients with coronary heart disease who has an unusually low number of stem cells.
Moreover, it is found that the low numbers of stem cells can be associated with several other illnesses and unhealthy living styles:
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Myocardial infarction
- Erectile dysfunction
- Vascular health
- Injured tissue
- Smoking etc.
Nowadays, we can safely collect and banking our own stem cells through a simple and painless procedure, by injecting Granulocyte-colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) which is stem cells stimulating substance into the body. The increased stem cells will then be naturally transferred from the bone marrow to the bloodstream. This procedure is simple, painless, and there is no need for anesthetic. They are the same as blood donation process.
Beside their successful and safe use in the widely-accepted treatments of blood disease and cancers, stem cells are also the potential aids for the treatments of traumatic brain injury, certain kinds of brain disease, osteoarthritis, sports injuries, accidents, and chronic wounds in burn victims or diabetic patients.