Why Stem Cells?
Stem cells are tiny progenitor cells found in our body that can divide (through mitosis) and change (differentiate) into various cell types. All cells in our body are constantly dividing where new cells are formed, then cells age and die. It is a natural physiologic process of programmed cell death and is known as Apoptosis. Your stem cells are your body’s natural healing cells and can act as your repair system in your body by replenishing adult tissues. They are the source of all these cells that have died.
There are two broad types of stem cells: embryonic stem cells, which are isolated from the inner cell mass of blastocyst (early stage of embryo), and non-embryonic or adult stem cells. It is also referred to as mesenchymal stem cells MSCs and is found in various tissues. There are three accessible sources of autologous adult stem cells in humans:
- Bone marrow, which requires extraction by drilling into the bone (typically the femur or iliac crest).
- Blood, which requires extraction through pheresis, wherein blood is drawn from the donor (similar to a blood donation), passed through a machine that extracts the stem cells and returns other portions of the blood to the donor.
- Adipose tissue (Fat cells), which requires extraction by liposuction.
Stem cells can also be taken from umbilical cord blood just after birth. Of all stem cell types, autologous harvesting (cells are obtained from one's own body) from Adipose tissue (Fat cells) involves the least risk. Adipose tissue (fat cells) is one of the richest sources of MSCs. When compared to bone marrow, there are more than 500 times more stem cells in 1 gram of fat when compared to 1 gram of aspirated bone marrow.
New England Stem Cell Treatment Center NESCTC has the technology to extract stem cells from your fat cells. Under investigational protocols, these cells can be deployed to treat a number of degenerative conditions and diseases. NESCTC in collaboration with New England Center for Hair Restoration is pioneering deploying stem cells to treat thinning hair and hair loss.
Hair follicles also contain stem cells, and some researchers predict research on these follicle stem cells may lead to successes in treating baldness through an activation of the stem cells progenitor cells. This therapy is expected to work by activating already existing stem cells on the scalp. Later therapy may be able to simply signal follicle stem cells to give off chemical signals to nearby follicle cells which have shrunk during the aging process, which in turn respond to these signals by regenerating and once again making healthy hair. Most recently, some doctors have claimed that stem-cell therapy led to a significant and visible improvement in follicular hair growth.
How do you grow hair follicles from stem cells?
Mesenchymal stem cells or MSCs are multipotent stromal cells that can differentitate into a variety of cell types including: osteoblasts (bone cells), chondrocytes (cartilage),  connective tissues and adipocytes (fat cells). Hair follicle papilla, which is a large structure at the base of the hair follicle bulb, is made up mainly of connective tissue and a capillary loop. (See hair follicle illustration). Since it is mainly connective tissue, mesenchymal stem cells could play a role in the repair and regenesis of the hair follicle papilla. Another point to consider is that the hair follicle develops mainly from the dermis and is mesodermal in origin. In Mesenchymal stem cells are also mesodermal in origin. Furthermore, there is tight ectodermal and mesodermal interaction involve in hair follicle development.
Discoveries in recent years have suggested that adult stem cells might have the ability to differentiate into cell types from different germ layers. For instance, neural stem cells from the brain, which are derived from ectoderm, can differentiate into ectoderm, mesoderm, and endoderm. Stem cells from the bone marrow, which is derived from mesoderm, can differentiate into liver, lung, GI tract and skin, which are derived from endoderm and mesoderm. This phenomenon is referred to as stem cell transdifferentiation or plasticity.
New England Stem Cell Treatment Center, an affiliate of the Cell Surgical Network , uses adipose derived stem cells, commonly known as Stromal Vascular Fraction (SVF) and non embryonic/adult mesenchymal stem cells, for deployment & clinical research.. Early stem cell research has traditionally been associated with the controversial use of embryonic stem cells. The new focus is on non-embryonic adult mesenchymal stem cells, which are found in a person’s own blood, bone marrow, and fat.  Most stem cell treatment centers in the world are currently using stem cells derived from bone marrow.
A recent technological breakthrough enables us to now use adipose (fat) derived stem cells. The procedure entails performing a mini-liposuction (around 50 mL of fat tissue) from the lower abdomen or from the belly under local anesthesia. Mesenchymal stem cells are then extracted from the adipose tissues, which are then incubated. The resulting lipoaspirate are either injected directly into areas concerned or injected directly intravenously.
Autologous stem cells from a person’s own fat are easy to harvest safely under local anesthesia and are abundant in quantities which are up to 500 times those seen in bone marrow. Clinical success and favorable outcomes appear to be related directly to the quantity of stem cells deployed. Once these adipose derived stem cells are administered back in to the patient, they have the potential to repair human tissue by forming new cells of mesenchymal origin, such as connective tissues, cartilage, bone, ligaments, tendons, hair follicles, nerve, fat, muscle, blood vessels, and certain internal organs.