What is a Stem Cell?
Stem cells are the building blocks of life; they are essential to every living organism. They are able to self-renew and replicate—with the ability to form every type of tissue or organ in the body. Adult stem cells from one organ are able to create tissue for another organ; this is called plasticity. This is key to their function in regenerative medicine.
How Does the Lung Institute use Stem Cells?
The Lung Institute offers stem cell treatments for many of the major pulmonary conditions, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), emphysema, chronic bronchitis, pulmonary fibrosis and interstitial lung disease. The stem cells used by the Lung Institute are autologous, which means they come from the patient’s own body. The stem cells are extracted from adipose (fat) tissue, bone marrow or the patient’s own blood (venous) depending on the patient’s current condition and health history. Adult stem cells have the capacity to form many types of differentiated cells, so when the stem cells are returned to the patient, they will target the damaged tissue, which leads to improved lung function in patients with a chronic lung disease. Our minimally invasive, outpatient stem cell procedures are changing lives by helping patients breathe easier.
The Stem Cell Treatment Process
In treatment of pulmonary conditions, autologous stem cells are stimulated to increase in numbers by natural growth factors. Once the desired volume of stem cells are available, they are extracted from the patient’s own blood, adipose tissue or bone marrow. The stem cells are then washed, isolated and returned to the patient intravenously or through the use of a nebulizer. Once the cells are returned to the patient, they will begin to regenerate new lung tissue. Since stem cells can continually replicate, the lungs will progressively grow stronger, and patients will be able to breathe easier.