STEM CELL RESEARCH
Scientists from all over the world have been in agreement for decades that stem cells have a healing effect in the body. Stem cell research has been successful in mice and, later, in clinical trials on patients. For almost 40 years, haematopoietic stem cells have been taken from bone marrow to treat leukaemia
We all have this healing resource inside of us. In particular, your own fatty tissue contains a large number of stem cells – more than in bone marrow. The advantage of this is that the stem cells can be extracted by liposuction without complications.
SIGNIFICANCE & ORGIN OF MESENCHYMAL STEM CELLS (MSCs)
Under the microscope, stem cells are simple cell formations which divide asymmetrically. During cell division, of each two new cells, one remains unchanged, whereas the second new cell begins to explore and support its environment (Verfaillie, 2002, Pubmed ID 12446111). One stem cell remains a mother cell, whereas the daughter cell actively renews its surrounding area (Verfaillie, 2002, Pubmed ID 12446111).
What can stem cells achieve?
Stem cells increase tissue renewal work with every division. Stem cells already exist at the embryo stage and are called embryonic stem cells (Papatsenko et al., 2018, Pubmed ID 29727814). For diseases in adult patients, the patient’s own stem cells, i.e., adult stem cells, are the most interesting. As they come from the patient themselves, they are not rejected by the body (Clarke et al., 2018, Pubmed ID 30007127).
Adult stem cells are capable of renewing old, injured or diseased tissue (Clarke et al., 2018, Pubmed ID 30007127).
The body’s own stem cell stores:
Adult stem cells can be isolated from a number of organs of an adult. The stem cells from fatty tissue are particularly interesting, i.e., so-called adipose mesenchymal stem cells (MSC), because they can be transformed into cartilage, bone, muscle or subcutaneous fatty tissue (Gimble et al., 2007, Pubmed ID). Adult stem cells from fatty tissue have therefore become the most important cells for regenerative medicine, as fatty tissue is comparatively easy to access and often available in sufficiently large quantities.
Separating (isolating) stem cells from fat plasma
MSCs can be isolated in a thoroughly-researched and established process. Fatty tissue is enzymatically isolated into individual cells, and the remaining fat content is separated by centrifugation (Bourin et al., 2013, Pubmed ID 23570660). Stromal vascular fraction (SVF) is produced when mesenchymal stem cells are isolated from fatty tissue. This is comprised of MSCs (15-30%), endothelial cells (10-20%), pericytes (5%) and immune cells (25-45%) (Bourin et al., 2013, Pubmed ID 23570660). SVF is further enriched by stem cells, as the adhesion rate of MSCs in plastic petri dishes is higher than for other cell types (Bourin et al., 2013, Pubmed ID 23570660).
Use in tissue regeneration: This procedure is used to isolate mesenchymal stem cells in a manner which allows them to be used for clinical purposes.
Interestingly, mesenchymal stem cells have very little HLA-DR (CD45, CD31, CD235a) on their surface, meaning that there is hardly any immune response (Bourin et al., 2013, Pubmed ID 23570660). In addition, MSCs can reduce the activity of NK cells (natural killer cells) so that they are undamaged by cellular defence (De la Rosa et al., 2012, Pubmed ID 21867426). Therefore, MSCs are suitable not just for autologous transplantation, but also for allogeneic transplantation. For this reason, stem cells from fatty tissue are the most-researched and most suitable stem cells for use in tissue regeneration.