The Future is Now: Platelets and Stem Cells
Submitted by drgailhumble on May 22, 2012
Imagine a future where you can go to a doctor’s office and have your own special cells from fat and or blood used to regenerate any of your organs including your skin! Does this sound too futuristic? Well it is happening right now… And those special cells? Platelets and Stem cells. Not the embryonic stem cells that people have mixed feelings about but your very own grown up stem cells. These adult stem cells are found abundantly in our own fat as well as in our blood. Platelets are also found in our blood and are our first line of defense in healing any injury. It is our platelets that are our bodies first line of defense that help us heal from cuts and injuries to our skin. In all of the tools in the growing medicine chest of anti-aging doctors nothing matches the exciting potential of stem cells and platelets. Over 30 different diseases are being treated using stem cells. Currently there are more than 2400 new studies being done in the United States utilizing stem cells. Medical science is finding the uses for stem cells and platelets to be many and varied. One of the most fascinating applications is what can be done when they are used to rejuvenate our bodies largest organ…it’s skin. It’s well known that volume loss is actually the main perpetrator behind the aging face. We start “boney remodeling” as early as in our twenties. This means that our cranium or skull actually begins to shrink. It is estimated that after forty we can loose up to one teaspoon or 5cc of volume per year from our face alone. This is due to ostepenia (or “boney remodeling”), loss of the deep fat layer, loss of support and thinning to the muscle in the layer above, loss of the superficial fat layer and finally thinning of the skin. Age is actually a deflation, a descention, and a medical rotation of the skin. So with fillers (natural or synthetic) doctors have achieved elevation, revoloumization and lateral rotation of the face. Since genetics and anti-aging medicine have always been a passion of mine (I have a degree in genetics in addition to my medical degree and boards in aesthetic anti-aging medicine) I am genuinely excited about the role that platelets and stem cells are having in the field of anti-aging medicine. I’ve been working with both stem cells and platelets for close to three years. More about Stem Cells and Platelets It was found that platelets (which we have in our blood) work in rejuvenation much the same way they work to repair damaged tissue. They emit growth factors and these growth factors actually appear to be the cause of repair and or rejuvenation of our tissue. Platelets live for 5 to 9 days after being drawn, emitting growth factors during this time. These growth factors include platelet derived growth factor, transforming growth factor, insulin like growth factor, epidermal growth factor and vascular endothelial growth factor. They result in new tissue growth stimulation of the fibroblasts and increased production of new collagen. The results of the growth factor are permanent. The improvement you see in your skin and volume are also permanent. Stem cells work similar to platelets but they live longer. Up to six months during which time they continue to secrete growth factors. In addition, our adult stem cells can differentiate into fat cells and therefore revolumize our face by replacing our destroyed or deflated fat cells. My Approach I’ve developed a unique approach to not only harvesting the tissues’ rejuvenating qualities of both of these cells, but have found that by adding Sculptra or polylactic acid, the results are even more impressive. I participated in the original FDA safety studies on Sculptra and have been involved in multiple clinical research trials utilizing this filler. Polylactic acid is known to be a collagen producing filler. That is why its results are considered to be semi permanent. The products are not mixed but rather the patients treated at the same time but at different depths in the face. When you combine the tissue regenerating qualities of PRP and stem cells with Sculptra the results are very impressive.