By Phillip Steele, MD RMSK CAQ Sports Medicine
Performance Injury Care & Sports Medicine
Mesenchymal stem cells have the ability to differentiate into different cell types that can form new tissues. Both ADSC (Adipose Derived Stem Cells) and BMC (Bone Marrow Concentrate) have shown to help regenerate cartilage in many studies but unfortunately no head to head comparison studies have been done.
ADSC is in reality a mixture of regenerative cells and growth factors that is derived from your adipose (fat) tissue. This tissue is called the Stroll Vascular Fraction (SVF) and is an excellent choice to help regenerate injured tendon, ligaments, cartilage and meniscus tissues. SVF injections have been used in many joints including knees, shoulder and hips.
Fat tissue provides the largest reservoir of adult stem cells in the body and has 1000 – 2000 times the number of stem cell than BMC. While bone marrow provides a lower concentration of stem cells it has a high concentration of growth factors. That’s why some regenerative specialists recommend the combination of ADSC and BMC for treatment of joint osteoarthritis.
SVF has been shown to be a better source of stem cells that differentiate into active cells to repair cartilage and prevent progression of osteoarthritis. Another important feature of SVF is the ability to produce more Colony Forming Units (CFU) than BMC. CFU is a significant predictor of the healing response. Another recent study demonstrated that ADSC also have a higher proliferation potential for neural tissue used for nervous system regeneration.
Although many different protocols have been developed for regenerative treatment of arthritic joints, we feel that the use of ADSC gives you the most for your money and greatest potential for cartilage regeneration and decreased pain. To enhance ADSC procedures we routinely add platelet rich plasma (PRP) and releasate (growth factors) into our stem cell program. By using ADSC, PRP and releasate for regenerative procedure we feel that you get the advantages of increased SVF and growth factors so that we can keep you enjoying the active lifestyle.