One of the first questions many patients have when they begin their journey into stem cell therapy is, “What are the different types of stem cells?”
It can be surprisingly difficult to find a direct answer to what seems like such a simple question. Today, we’re going to cut through all the noise and answer that question for you.
Not all stem cells are created equal
There is a common misconception that all stem 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 very important differences.
For instance, adipose stem cells are harvested in a procedure that takes some fatty tissue from your abdomen, while bone marrow stem cells are harvested from the inside of your bones. That’s a difference I’d want to know about up front!
However, both have their uses and each could be the right types of stem cells for specific issues, so make sure you discuss a customized treatment plan with your doctor. A good stem 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 stem cells?
While there are many different types of stem cells, we’ll cover those most commonly used in clinical settings.
The categories below are based on the differentiation potential of the stem cells, which is the ability of a stem cell to become other types of cells.
Multipotent Stem Cells
Multipotent stem cells can become multiple types of cells within your body.
Until recently, researchers believed that multipotent stem 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 currently underway to use multipotent stem cells to repair other types of tissue. For instance, regenerating heart and nerve cells.
Adult Stem Cells (ASCs)
Adult stem cells are the cause of a great deal of excitement in the scientific community and the focus of a great deal of stem cell research.
While researchers once believed them to be more limited, this new research has revealed more uses for adult stem cells than was previously believed possible.
Adult stem cells have a history of research spanning more than 60 years, making them one of the best understood sources for stem cell therapy procedures.
- What they are: Undifferentiated, multipotent cells. These are stem cells that are not set on which kind of cell they’ll become just yet, so they could become many different types of cells. For instance, glial cells or neurons.
- Where 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 organ can potentially grow into an entire organ.
Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs)
Mesenchymal stem cells are a type of adult stem cell that comes from various tissues. The unique aspect of mesenchymal stem cells is that they are non-blood adult stem cells, but they can still form into many different kinds of cells.
These may offer the widest range of ethical uses to the world 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 stem cell therapy. They may be used in the treatment of an array of diseases, disorders, conditions, and injuries.
- What they are: A type of adult stem cell, these are multipotent and can become many types of different cell.
- Where they’re from: Adipose (fat) tissue, Wharton’s jelly and cord blood, amniotic fluid, molar 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 stem 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 Stem 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 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 patient’s lives. This makes adipose stem cells an especially appealing option to athletes, soldiers, and working people with injuries or conditions that are affecting their ability to perform their duties.
That said, the benefits have led our clinic to primarily use these cells to treat most patients, but we use other cell types as part of our custom treatment plan whenever it is more beneficial.
Adipose stem cells can be combined with PRP to potentially enhance their benefits.
- What they are: A type of mesenchymal stem cell, these are more flexible multipotent stem cells with the capacity for self-renewal. These are the primary type of stem cell that we use in our clinic.
- Where they’re from: Adipose (fat) tissue, which allows 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.
- What they’re used for: A range of applications from the regeneration of tissue in traumatic injuries to many conditions, including neurodegenerative and endocrine metabolic disorders and post-surgical reconstructions.
- How they work: Since these are mesenchymal stem cells, they can self-divide to replicate to higher numbers. When re-introduced to the body, can become many other types of cells.
Cord Blood Stem Cells
Cord blood stem cells are most often used to treat blood cancers and disorders affecting the hematopoietic (blood forming) and immune system.
Since cord blood stem cells can form into blood cells, they may be effective in the treatment of leukemias, lymphomas, sickle cell disease, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome, and more.
We use these cells in our clinic when patients need the specialized treatment that cord blood cells are best suited to. Contact us with any questions.
- What they are: A type of multipotent stem cell, these are best used for targeted, specialized treatments when necessary.
- Where they’re from: Cord blood stem cells are recovered postnatally from the umbilical cord and are a readily available and ethically viable source of stem cells that can 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 mesenchymal stem cells, they can self-divide to replicate to higher numbers. They contain the blood forming stem cells that make them effective at treating blood conditions, even allowing them to potentially treat cancers of the blood.
Pluripotent Stem Cells
Pluripotent stem cells are incredibly powerful, but come with their own concerns. These types of stem cells can become every type of cell that makes up the human body.
Because of this, they are closely watched by the medical community. However, they carry complications like limited availability, ethical controversy, and medical concerns.
Embryonic Stem Cells
Since they are pluripotent stem cells, embryonic stem cells are capable of becoming any cell that makes up your body. However, the incredible benefits they could offer may also carry potentially dangerous risks.
In addition to ethical concerns, embryonic stem cells are believed to have a risk of being rejected by your immune system. More than this, there have been findings of increased tumor formation linked to embryonic stem cells.
Since they carry all of these issues and are not your own cells, we do not use embryonic stem cells in our clinic.
Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs)
It was 2006 at Kyoto University in Japan, and researchers were on the verge of a breakthrough. Their discovery: by introducing certain embryonic genes into a somatic cell, the cell can be can give rise to a new type of cell similar to an embryonic stem cell.
The publication of this new methodology took the scientific world by storm. Today, these are called induced pluripotent stem cells, because the modified cell is capable of potentially becoming 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 stem cells have about five decades of additional research behind them and they’ve only just recently become widely used in treatments, it may be sometime before we see iPSCs reach their full potential.
Which types of stem cells are the best for stem 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 stem cells would be best for your treatment, contact us for a free consultation and we’ll help you make the right choice.
What is getting a regenerative medicine procedure like?
Getting a regenerative medicine procedure done at Dynamic Stem Cell Therapy is quick and effortless.
It all starts with a conversation to help us better understand your needs and offer a potential solution. If a procedure seems like the best option, we will help you schedule one in our relaxing spa-like environment and cutting edge surgical center.
Your procedure is normally scheduled within a 2 week time frame as you will need to get pre-op instructions and avoid the medications on our restrictions list for that amount of time. We look forward to your visit.
Upon your arrival, necessary paperwork and completion of payment will take place before our one of our registered nurses gets you prepped for your procedure.
Harvesting in the form of phlebotomy or syringe aspirated mini liposuction may be necessary. Cells sometimes need to be extracted, isolated, washed, neutralized and activated before returning them to your body with a simple injection into intra-articulate joints in combination with some infusions.
The entire process is over in as little as 45 minutes to just a few hours. Most patients can return to work later that day and even the next day without issue. Instructions on physical limitations, some medication, and even some dietary restrictions are given to each patient to help expedite the healing process.
We even offer regenerative medicine financing for all of our procedures.
What is Dynamic Stem Cell Therapy like?
Dynamic Stem Cell Therapy employs an incredible staff and a compassionate, world-class doctor that can help you find the right path for your personalized treatment.
Our experienced Las Vegas regenerative medicine clinic offers regenerative medicine procedures including PRP and cell-based therapies for many injuries or conditions.
As with any treatment option, it is important to work with a doctor that develops a customized treatment plan for your unique circumstances. With our talented regenerative medicine doctor and a customized treatment plan, we may be able to get you back to a fuller, more vibrant life.
Since you want to hear good things from other patients at the clinic you choose, be sure to check out our outstanding patient testimonials and reviews.
How do I get started with regenerative medicine?
At Dynamic Stem Cell Therapy in Las Vegas, Nevada, our mission is to ensure you receive the care that you need in a safe and controlled way.
While the world of regenerative medicine might seem overwhelming, it’s much simpler if you start with an experienced clinic that follows high quality standards and has safe practices.
Contact us today to book a free consultation and we’ll help you discover if regenerative medicine could be the right choice for you.
To get started, you can:
- Call (702) 547-6565
- Chat with us on Facebook
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Use our contact form to send us a message
Get in touch with us and you’ll enjoy a free consultation and expert advice throughout your journey as our patient. We’ll be your partner for any questions about regenerative medicine including PRP, stem cells, or stem cell therapy.
For more information about the regenerative medicine procedures at our clinic, please check our FAQ here.
We can’t wait to hear from you!