In the late 1950s, doctors performed the first stem cell transplant. The blank slate cells have held their promise and it seems that it was one of the best discoveries in the world of medicine and science. It claims that it can cure many ailments – human body cells that can heal another ailing part of the body, through the decades, stem cell transplant procedures have been used in treating cancer patients, a possible cure for Parkinson’s disease, paralysis and aging skin. With the advancements in cosmetic medicine, many stem cell skin treatments have been sold and it claims that it can quickly minimize or completely remove wrinkles.
What Are Stem Cells?
Stem cells, by definition, are undifferentiated biological cells that can develop into specialized cells and can divide and produce more stem cells. In humans, there are two general types of stem cells:
- The embryonic stem cells. These cells are isolated from the inner cell mass of balstocyst.
- The adult stem cells. These cells are found in different body tissues. Adult stem cells and other progenitor cells serve as the natural repair system for the human body.
In a growing embryo, these stem cells can differentiate and develop into specialized cells like mesodern, ectoderm and endoderm. It also has the ability to maintain the normal regenerative body organs like the skin, blood and intestinal tissues. Today, there are 3 main sources of autologous adult stem cells in the body:
- The bone marrow. This source requires harvesting for extracting bone marrow. The bone is drilled and the needed bone marrow is harvested to be used as a stem cell.
- Adipose tissue. Also know as lipid cells. This source requires liposuction. Once the fats are harvested, it will be put a centrifuge to separate adipose tissue stem cells.
- Blood. This requires extraction by way of overseas. It involves drawing blood from the donor and then the collected blood is passed through a machine which extracts the stem cells and then the other portions will be returned to the donor.
Some people called stem cell facelift as the new Botox. Some dermatologists are using and injecting patients with cells that were extracted from the belly and thigh fats in minimizing wrinkles and skin rejuvenation. In theory, the stem cell facelift results will last longer as compared to Botox because stem cell stimulate facial cell growth and promote skin cell regeneration.
How Does It Work?
This is how stem cell is supposed to work. Fats are removed from donor sites using liposuction. The removed fats are sent through devices that separate the ADCs and then add the enhmaced fat that are required for re-injection. Now, the fat for re-injection is now stem cell-enhanced and will be applied to areas that needs rejuvenation and treatment. Benefits include a better rate of survival of the injected fat. Most people also claim that this treatment will make sense because it will replace the lost facial fat due to age, improve the skin and other facial tissues that needs rejuvenation.
There are people who swear by the stem cells effectiveness, but scientific proofs are still needed. There is some evidence of the greater take of the grafted fats, but the conclusive or a qualitative improvements in the skin is quite hard to prove. Evidences are also incomplete regarding the effectiveness of about the ADC-enhanced fat. Some experts and doctors states that stem cell facelift is just a marketing hype that is getting way ahead science and other studies. Although some experts and physicians acknowledge the merits of stem cell treatments, there should be more studies and research made to conclude if it really is the best treatment.
Photo Credits: Bbaaxx via Flickr