The Different Types of Cellular Therapy | Cell Therapy 101

the different types of stem cells

One of the first questions many patients have when they begin their journey into stem cell therapy is, “What are the different types of regenerative cells?”

Finding a direct answer to such a simple question can be challenging. Today, we will cut through all the noise and answer that question.


Not all regenerative cells are created equal.

There is a common misconception that all regenerative cells are created equal. While they all become other types of cells and have the potential to regenerate and renew your cells, they also have some significant differences.

For instance, doctors harvest adipose-derived cells by taking some fatty tissue from your abdomen and obtaining bone marrow stem cells inside your bones. That’s a difference that patients would want to know about up front!

However, both have their uses, and each could be the correct type of stem cell for specific issues, so discuss a customized treatment plan with your doctor. A good regenerative cell therapy clinic will help you understand which types of stem cells are best for your situation, and you’ll reap the benefits of their expert knowledge.

What are the different types of cells used in Regenerative Medicine?

While there are many different types of regenerative cells, we’ll cover those most commonly used in clinical settings.

The categories below rely on the differentiation potential of regenerative cells, which refers to their ability to transform into other types of cells.


Multipotent Cells

Multipotent cells can become multiple types of cells within your body.

Until recently, researchers believed that multipotent cells could only become similar types of cells to the type of tissue they were harvested from.

However, in light of recent research, clinical trials are underway to use multipotent cells to repair other tissue types—for instance, regenerating heart and nerve cells.


Adult Cells

Adult cells cause great excitement in the scientific community and are the focus of many regenerative cell research.

While researchers once believed them to be more limited, this new research has revealed more uses for adult cells than was previously believed possible.

Adult cells have more than 60 years of research history, making them one of the best-understood sources for regenerative cell therapy procedures.

  • What they are: Undifferentiated, multipotent cells. These cells are still being set on which kind of cell they’ll become, so they can become many different types. For instance, glial cells or neurons.
  • Where they’re-they’re from, Juveniles and adults.
  • What they’re used for: Replenishing dying cells and regenerating damaged tissue.
  • How they work: Capable of infinitely self-dividing, even a few cells from one can grow into an entire organ.


Medicinal Signaling Cells (MSCs) 

Medicinal signaling cells are a type of cell that comes from various tissues. The unique aspect of medicinal signaling cells is non-blood adult cells that can still form into many different kinds of cells.

These may offer the world the most comprehensive range of ethical uses and have considerable research behind them. In the hands of trained scientists and clinicians, they can be an incredible tool for healing and regeneration.

Since they come from all sorts of tissues and can produce most of the types of cells in the human body, they are an ideal option for cell therapy. They may treat various diseases, disorders, conditions, and injuries.

  • What they are: A type of adult cell, these are multipotent and can become many types of different cells.
  • Where they’re-they’re from Adipose (fat) tissue, cord tissue, cord blood, amniotic fluid, skin cells, and bone marrow.
  • What they’re used for Potentially treating autoimmune diseases, other conditions and diseases, and musculoskeletal injuries (sports injuries).
  • How they work: Like other adult cells, they can self-divide to replicate to higher numbers and, when re-introduced to the body, can become many other types of cells.


Adipose-derived Cells

Since adipose stem cells are a type of mesenchymal stem cell, they carry the associated benefits.

However, due to the ease of acquisition (some fat from the patient’s patient’s abdomen), the procedure allows patients to walk out of the clinic within a few hours.

With no hospital stay or bed rest required, there is minimal interruption to patients’ life. That makes fatty stem cells an especially appealing option to athletes, soldiers, and working people with injuries or conditions affecting their ability to perform their duties.

That said, the benefits have led our clinic to use these cells to treat most patients primarily, but we use other cell types as part of our custom treatment plan whenever it is more beneficial.

  • What they are: A mesenchymal cell type, these are more flexible multipotent cells with the capacity for self-renewal. These are the primary type of cells that we use in our clinic.
  • Where they’re-they’re from, Amniotic fluid and PRP treatments allow you to walk out of the clinic the same day you come in with the procedure already over. Patients typically return to work on the following day.
  • They’re used for various applications, from tissue regeneration in traumatic injuries to many conditions, includingneurodegenerative and endocrine metabolic disorders and post-surgical reconstructions.
  • How they work: These medicinal signaling cells can self-divide to replicate to higher numbers. When re-introduced to the body, it can become many other types of cells.


Cord Blood Cells

Cord blood stem cells often treat blood cancers and disorders affecting the hematopoietic (blood-forming) and immune systems.

Since cord blood stem cells can form into blood cells, they may effectively treat leukemias, lymphomas, sickle cell disease, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome, and more.

We do not use these cells in our clinic for patients needing these specialized treatments that cord blood cells are best suited to. Contact us with any questions.

  • What they are: A type of multipotent cell best used for targeted, specialized treatments when necessary.
  • Where they’re-they’re from, Cord blood cells are recovered postnatally from the umbilical cord and are a readily available and ethically viable source of cells that could save lives.
  • What they’re used for Treating certain conditions and cancers that affect the blood and immune systems, such as leukemias, lymphomas, sickle cell disease, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome, and more.
  • How they work: Since these are medicinal signaling and Hemopoietic cells, they can self-divide to replicate to higher numbers. They contain the blood-forming stem cells that effectively treat blood conditions, even allowing them to treat blood cancers potentially.


Pluripotent Cells

Pluripotent cells are potent but come with their concerns. These types of cells can become every type of cell that makes up the human body.

Because of this, the medical community closely monitors them. However, they pose complications such as limited availability, ethical controversy, and medical concerns.


Embryonic Cells

Since they are pluripotent and totipotent cells, embryonic sourced cells can become any cell that makes up your body. However, their incredible benefits may also carry potentially dangerous risks.

In addition to ethical concerns, embryonic-sourced cells are believed to risk being rejected by your immune system. More than this, there have been findings ofincreased tumor formation linked to embryonic sourced cells.

Since they carry all these issues and are not your cells, we do not use embryonic stem cells in our clinic.


Induced Pluripotent Somatic Cells (iPSCs)

It was 2006 at Kyoto University in Japan, and researchers were on the verge of a breakthrough. Their discovery: introducing specific embryonic genes into a somatic cell can give rise to a new type of cell similar to an embryonic somatic cell.

The publication of this new methodology took the scientific world by storm. These are called induced pluripotent somatic cells because the modified cell can become any cell that makes up the human body.

Because they are in their infancy, there are numerous challenges, and much research is still needed to circumvent their potential risks and increase their efficacy.

Since adult somatic cells have about five decades of additional research behind them and have only recently become widely used in treatments, it may be some time before we seeiPSCs reach their full potential.


Which types of cells are the best for cell therapy?

The answer to that question will be unique for every individual because there is a different best fit for every situation.

If you’re wondering which types of cellular therapy would be best for your treatment, contact us for a free consultation, and we’ll help you make the right choice.