The Evolution of Regenerative Medicine

Caring for Your Joints at Home
January 21, 2020

Regenerative medicine is a continuously evolving field changing the way in which therapeutics are being applied. They are most commonly used in conditions such as acute or chronic joint pain, hair regeneration, skin regeneration, and in some cases intravenous therapy. The aim is to treat or repair damaged cells, tissues, or organs. As the field of regenerative medicine continues to quickly transform, the potential of curing a particular condition brings along unknown safety and efficacy issues. Thus being said, treatments can be broken down into two separate categories; autologous (cells or tissue obtained from our own individual body) and homologous/allogeneic (taking cells from a foreign donor).

To date, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), is the tried and proven method to improve joint regeneration. Joint PRP is most effective over a series of treatments as opposed to a single treatment. However, many patients achieve optimal results with just a single treatment. PRP is well known in sports medicine and has been used by many professional athletes as a means to speed up recovery. PRP is considered autologous in which, it is isolated and purified from one’s own blood. It is often thought that the therapeutic potential lies within the platelet’s natural ability to release its growth factors ultimately stimulating the wound healing process.

Another form of joint therapy utilizes Stem cells. Stem cell therapy can be either autologous or homologous. Sources from one’s body are usually from the bone or fat-derived tissues. The way in which the material is processed and the cells are isolated can be questionable. Foreign sources of stem cells derived from amniotic and placental tissue have a show to have great therapeutic potential. However, with any foreign cell or tissue type, we run into the possibility of complications such as the transmission of infections, transmission of unwanted viruses or even rejection because these are considered foreign materials to our body.

The latest up and coming form of regenerative medicine are exosomes. Exosomes are nanoparticles that are extracellular vesicles naturally secreted from living cells including stem cells. Exosomes harness the therapeutic potential of stem cells as they contain numerous growth factors, proteins, micro RNA and exhibit anti-inflammatory properties. Despite the fact that exosomes may present more therapeutic effects than stem cells, they are commercially available and are usually derived from allogeneic adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells, which may pose more harm than good.

As the field of regenerative medicine continues to evolve, we are transforming the way we personalize medical therapeutics. At RJ Clinical Institute, with our translational approach to medicine, we customize every treatment plan according to the unique needs of our patients and can do so through our bench to bedside model and through the use of our own clinical laboratory. We have the potential to offer autologous regenerative therapies that yield the highest therapeutic potential while minimizing the risk of infection, rejection, and unwanted side effects.