Fat and Bone Marrow
Jan 18, 2013 12:53PM
In biology, regeneration is the process of renewal, restoration, and growth that creates cells, organs and organisms resilient to disturbance or damage. Every species is capable of regeneration, from bacteria to humans.
Natural human regeneration of amputated fingertips has been well documented, including the recent case of Lee Spievak. Approximately an inch of his middle finger was severed by a model airplane propeller. He was treated with special growth factors which attracted stem cells to the area, and his finger was restored, flesh, blood, vessels and nail, in four weeks.
There has been an emergence in the use of stem cells to treat everything from sports injuries, as in the case of Tiger Woods and Hines Ward, to chronic arthritis. Using high definition ultrasound to guide these precious ingredients into just the right spots is crucial, according to local expert John Lieurance of Gecko Joint and Spine in Sarasota.
He and Wellington Chen, MD, use ultrasound to treat many cases that would otherwise call for surgery. Dr. Chen and Lieurance have worked together for seven years offering regenerative treatments in Sarasota, with offices at 2033 Wood Street, Suite 210. They are the first to offer stem cell transplantation using stem cells from either the fat tissue or bone marrow.
“Fat cells are a very rich source of stem cells that can be injected and stimulated to become virtually any kind of tissue in the body,” says Lieurance. “In addition, fat acts as a great scaffold when regenerating cartilage such as in a bone on bone arthritic knee.”
Along with fat, bone marrow concentrate (BMC) is also a promising regenerative therapy to help accelerate healing in moderate to severe osteoarthritis or tendon injuries. BMC harnesses the body’s natural ability to heal itself by using stem cells from the patient’s own body. In adults, marrow contains a rich reservoir that produces new blood cells, including regenerative cells. These cells can be extracted from a patient’s hip and used for BMC injection therapy.
The process of obtaining and preparing these powerful regenerative cells is done by Dr. Chen, who explains, “It’s done such that there is minimal pain for the patients. Often they won’t feel any discomfort at all.”
The bone marrow is then placed in a centrifuge, which separates the regenerative cells and platelets. The result is a concentrate that is rich in stem cells and growth factors.
In the past, these types of cells were often very difficult and expensive to obtain from the body. With new techniques and technological improvements, regenerative cells can easily be obtained and concentrated in a simple office procedure. This point of care treatment allows for minimal manipulation of cells which are then injected into the injured area on the same day. Unlike other cells of the body, bone marrow and fat regenerative cells are undifferentiated, which means they have the ability to replicate themselves into a variety of tissue types.
Lieurance adds, “Before going under the knife, take a look at these cutting edge treatments. They may wellbe the best option for easing your pain.”