In recent years, medicine has enjoyed many different advancements because of fast-changing technology. Regenerative medicine is one of those advancements, and it is the process of creating living, functional tissues to repair or replace tissue or organ function lost due to age, disease, damage, or congenital defects.
There are a variety of illnesses and injuries that can be treated with regenerative medicine, and Spine Institute Northwest can use your body’s own stem cells to treat joint pain and injury as well as back pain.
Regenerative Medicine as a Science
Regenerative medicine is an absolutely amazing branch of translational research that focuses on replacing, engineering, or regenerating human cells, tissues, and organs in order to help promote new function and growth within the human body.
Regenerative medicine also brings the possibility of growing new organs and tissues for people with their own stem cells. This possibility couldn’t arrive at a better time because the aging baby boomer generation has introduced a shortage of organs that are available for transplant. Additionally, making someone’s organs from their own stem cells helps to lessen the chance of rejection.
Regenerative Medicine as a Treatment
Regenerative medicine uses the extracellular matrix and stem cells to treat illness and injury. The major concentrations of regenerative medicine are:
- Medical devices and artificial organs
- Tissue engineering and biomaterials
- Cellular therapies
- Clinical translations
Medical devices can be used to maintain the body while it waits for an organ transplant or a surgery, and artificial organs made from a patient’s own tissues and cells can save lives while also reducing transplant issues like rejection. Tissue engineering uses biomaterials to create tissues and parts of organs for patients to try to fix health issues before entire organs are needed.
Cellular therapies that focus on a patient’s stem cells can help to reduce diseases and treat illnesses like leukemia by being able to place new, healthy cells into a patient. Clinical translations are the different clinical trials and undertakings of doctors that are started in the name of regenerative medicine. Some current regenerative clinical trials are working on being able to cure heart disease and diabetes.
Stem Cells as a Savior
>While there are some ethical concerns with the use of embryonic stem cells, stem cell therapies are gaining traction in the field of regenerative medicine. Stem cell studies are meant to help doctors understand how disease occurs, make new cells to replace diseased cells, and to test new drugs for safety and effectiveness.
Stem cells are not only embryonic. There are four types of stem cells that are used in regenerative medicine: embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells, induced pluripotent stem cells, and perinatal stem cells. The stem cells are manipulated in a laboratory setting to turn into specific specialized cells that can be used to replace defective and disease cells.
The Doctor Makes the Difference
Regenerative medicine is a life-changing innovation, but you must make sure that you choose the right doctor when you are looking for regenerative treatment. If you are interested in learning more about regenerative medicine and seeing if you are a candidate for treatment, call Spine Institute Northwest at (206) 496-0630 and schedule an appointment with one of our doctors today!