Based on previous studies and our clinical experience, ThriveMD has built our stem cell therapy procedure based on the use of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC’s) prepared from adipose tissue (fat). The mixture of regenerative cells and growth factors that are derived from adipose tissue is called the stromal vascular fraction (SVF) and has been an excellent choice for soft tissue repair, especially the regeneration of cartilaginous joints such as knees, hips and shoulders.
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Fat tissue provides the largest volume of adult stem cells, while bone marrow provides growth factors to aid with the repair process. That’s why we add bone marrow to our stem cell therapy formula as well.
The Potential of Cartilage Regeneration with Stem Cells
Such cartilage regeneration can have the potential to help avoid invasive procedures such as joint replacement, or alleviate pain in joints that have been arthritic for years.Cartilage regeneration with stem cells can, for instance, have the potential to help avoid invasive procedures such as joint replacement, or alleviate pain in joints that have been arthritic for years. Throughout the past two years we have also been seeing excellent results with the use of SVF in the back pain treatment of, for instance, degenerative disc disease. Spinal applications of these therapies are quickly becoming the most successful stem cell procedure we perform at ThriveMD.
The Stem Cell Studies on Fat vs Bone Marrow
First, a recent stem cell research article by Jang and Koh titled Characterization of Adipose Tissue-Derived Stromal Vascular Fraction for Clinical Application to Cartilage Regeneration highly supports the premise that adipose derived cells are a far better source of stem cells than bone marrow concentrate (BMC) for a point of care (same day) cartilage regeneration stem cell procedure. This article did an excellent multi-part analysis comparing bone marrow concentrate to stromal vascular fraction (SVF) and cleared some stem cell misconceptions.
The authors used several types of analysis to define the significant differences in the content and function of these two regenerative injection concentrates. Flow cytometry allowed a thorough look at the cell yield. It demonstrated that SVF contained 10 times more MSC’s and 5 times more adherent cells than BMC, perhaps the most crucial components for these types of procedures .
It also showed that SVF had 200 times more stromal cells and 18 times more pericytes, both also very important in a regenerative procedure for joints and soft tissue. Also of importance, the BMC contained 6 times more leukocytes, or white blood cells which can impede healing by furthering the inflammatory reaction at the site of the injury.
Stromal vascular fraction was dramatically better than bone marrow concentrate in its ability to differentiate into cartilage.Two other important features were also well documented. SVF created significantly more colony forming units than BMC, another significant predictor of healing response. And perhaps most importantly, SVF was dramatically better than BMC in its ability to differentiate into cartilage.
Second, a recent study by Han Chao et al has also demonstrated that fat derived stem cells also have a higher proliferation potential for neural tissue and are a better source for not only cartilage regeneration but also for nervous system regeneration.
How the Different Types of Stem Cells Work to Regenerate Cartilage
Adipose fat tissue provides the largest volume of adult stem cells (1,000 to 2,000 times the number of cells per volume found in bone marrow). Bone marrow provides some stem cells but more importantly provides a large volume of growth factors to aid in the repair process. In addition to adult stem cells, fat tissue also contains numerous other regenerative cells that are important to the healing process. Stem cells derived from adipose fat tissue have been shown to be a much better source for the repair of cartilage degeneration and recent studies have demonstrated its superior ability to differentiate into cartilage.
Stem Cells from Fat vs Bone Marrow – the Superior Way to Harvest
The studies gavce a very comprehensive look at comparing BMC and SVF in the ability to repair cartilage damage in a same procedure protocol. Every significant measurement comparing bone marrow to adipose tissue for stem cell harvesting demonstrated that adipose provided better cell content and superior ability to differentiate into cartilage than bone marrow. Our extensive clinical experience with the procedure for Colorado patients clearly indicates the same.