Stem Cell Specialist

Kalpana D. Patel, MD -  - Environmental Medicine Specialist

EHC Buffalo

Kalpana D. Patel, MD

Environmental Medicine Specialist located in Buffalo, NY

Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Therapies Q & A

What are Stem Cells?

Stem cells make up our tissues and organs. They are highly specialized and are available throughout the body. They have the ability to replicate and differentiate which means that they can multiply and mimic various tissues and cells in the body.

What Are The Different Types of Stem Cells?

Different stem cell therapies utilize different stem cells and there are different types. The types are categorized by their sources and one of the most common and controversial stem cells is embryonic stem cells. These stem cells are sourced from embryos which are between three and five days old. These are NOT used at Center.

There are also adult stem cells which are derived from various adult tissues such as adipose tissues or the bone marrow. These stem cells tend to have limited abilities when compared to embryonic stem cells. However they are quite useful, particularly bone marrow derived stem cells which are used in various cancerous treatments.

UCB stem cells are found in the umbilical cord blood and they are usually collected during child birth and thereafter they are harvested.

Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) 

Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) are one of the most famous stem cell type used in medicine. They have been shown to be effective for a wide range of diseases with a minimal risk profile. At the same time several hundred clinical studies are ongoing to investigate their regenerative abilities in greater detail.

From a biological point-of-view, they are progenitor cells of connective tissues. This means that they are important for building and maintaining the healthy status of connective tissues throughout the whole body, and are known as Stromal stem cells. 

Likewise, they possess the ability to differentiate into a spectrum of other cell types, including chondrocytes (Cartilage cells), osteoblasts (bone cells), adipocytes (fat cells), etc. This property classifies them as “multipotent stem cells” (being able to transform into many cell types). 

They are relatively easy to harvest and be isolated from: 

  • Fat tissue, known as adMSCs (adipose derived MSCs)
  • Bone Marrow, known as bmMSCs (bone marrow MSCs)
  • Umbilical Cord, known as ucMSC (umbilical cord MSCs)

What Conditions and Diseases Can Be Treated with Stem Cell Therapies?

Stem cells can treat a wide array of diseases and a good example is skin derived stem cells which have been widely used in grafting on patients suffering from severe burns. However most stem cell therapies are still in their clinical stages but that doesn’t mean they are nor effective or safe. It’s widely known that stem cells have regenerative properties and as such they have been used to treat various damaged tissues and organs in the body.

These include the skin, heart, pancreas, liver, cornea, retina, spinal cord, ligaments, tendons, disc, cartilage and bones just to mention a few. Bone marrow derived stem cells are used in treating conditions such as leukemia and cancer while fat tissue stem cells have been used in aesthetic medicine. Different stem cells are currently used in various treatments and these range from systemic disease to musculoskeletal to neurologic, cardiac, cosmetic.