Bone marrow stem cells

How it works

Bone marrow functions as the nursery where all our blood cells come from. Within this tissue, are multiple types of stem cells, but the mesenchymal stem cell, or MSC, has the most promise as an agent of healing. The MSC is a potent cell which can transform into ligament, cartilage or bone, depending on its surrounding environment. The mesenchymal stem cell also produces an anti-inflammatory effect and signals other nearby cells to regenerate. 

Our unique preparation

Bone marrow is usually obtained from the iliac crest area of the pelvis using a special needle. Fluoroscopy is used to ensure correct needle placement.  The marrow is then concentrated in a special centrifuge to yield bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC). Additional steps are carried out to minimize the amount of red blood cells in the final BMAC preparation. 

Pain relief from a BMAC procedure is not only because of the stem cells, but also because of a very potent concentration of anti-inflammatory cytokines present within the BMAC itself.  Cytokines are small proteins released by cells. They have a specific effect on the interactions and communications between cells. They are often either pro-inflammatory or anti-inflammatory in nature. Our special processing of the bone marrow to create BMAC results in the anti-inflammatory cytokines being in a much larger concentration than the pro-inflammatory cytokines. 

adipose tissue Stem Cells

How it works

Adipose (fat) tissue also contains large numbers of stem cells, nestled in between the fat cells. In fact, there are proportionally more stem cells in fat tissue than bone marrow tissue. These cells  also have powerful anti-inflammatory, healing,  and pain modulating effects. There are various methods to obtain stem cells from fat tissue. Some of the traditional laboratory methods involved separating the stem cells from fat tissue using an enzyme. The FDA has advised that this process may constitute the manufacturing of a biological agent, and many stem cell clinics in the US have stopped utilizing this method. More recently, the use of micronized fat has also been shown to be effective, without the need for more than simple washing and proper sizing of the fat tissue. The Lipogems system is an example of this type of fat preparation. Sierra Stem Cell Institute has had great success with this method.

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC’s) function as singaling cells which communicate with nearby tissues to promote healing.  They do this by secreting cytokines, which are specific cell signal proteins.  MSC's also secrete micro-RNA which can "reprogram" local injured tissues to promote regeneration.  MSC’s recruit other healing cells into an area of injury. The micronized fat can also act as a mechanical cushion, easing joint pain while the stem cells to their work.

While no statements can be made regarding the curative affect any specific orthopedic or musculoskeletal condition using these stem cell procedures, many patients report significant lessening of symptoms. We are happy to share patient results — while maintaining patient confidentiality — upon request.