There are many different types of adult stem cells. The most known and used clinically are bone marrow hematopoietic stem cells. In the bone marrow, but also in umbilical cord blood, in peripheral blood and in body fat, we can find mesenchymal stem cells which have the ability to become a specialised muscular, vascular, nervous, hematopoietic, or bone cell.
In this case, the non-specialised cells can be extracted by multiple punctures in both posterior iliac crests (bones of the back of the hip). Doctors perform these punctures by two unique holes in the skin under general anaesthesia. General anaesthesia is the most recommended method. It is more comfortable for you and also makes the work of our specialists in the London Spine Unit easier.
Fat derived stem cells:
Fat tissue is a great source of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) for two main reasons. First, a lot of MSC can be extracted from this tissue and second, the method for extracting them is simpler and less aggressive compared to the aforementioned bone marrow.
A very effective technique to extract these cells is liposuction. This surgical procedure involves a suction technique used to remove fat from specific areas of the body. They can be the abdomen, hips, thighs, buttocks, arms or neck. The difference is that doctors extract part of the fat and send it to a specialised laboratory. The goal is isolating, growing and preserving MSCs. Doctors perform this procedure in parallel with liposuction.
Embryonic stem cells:
In order to produce this type of cells, it is required to obtain embryos in vitro. It is mandatory the fertilization of an ovum by a spermatozoon (gametic embryos). Then, to cultivate the embryo until the blastocyst phase (day five post-fertilization). Finally, to separate the stem cells contained in the cell mass internally and cultivate them until obtaining the desired stem cells.
It is also possible to get these cells from fetal or adult tissues. However, this possibility is still under investigation. Fetal or adult cells have a lower capacity for differentiation than embryonic cells, which makes harder their transformation into other tissues.
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At the London Spine Unit, Harley Street Hospital, we have some of the best specialists in this area. Book a consultation to get a doctor´s checkup.