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PRP – Platelet Rich Plasma
It is evident that some medical problems can be solved with conventional drugs, physiotherapy or surgery, —- but many cannot. Chronic low back pain, osteoarthritis and headaches are examples where standard medicine often does not help sufficiently. However standard medicine is not the only approach – it is not the most effective one either, it is just the most common Western Treatment with pharmaceutical products approved by FDA / EMA.
In our review of alternative medicine we like to draw the attention to Platelet Rich Plasma Treatment (PRP) a technical variation of Autologous Blood Injection (ABI), also known as Autologous Conditioned Plasma (ACP) Injection.
ABI is a recent medical procedure whereby a patient’s blood is injected into an area of the body for the purposes of healing. The procedure is usually performed under ultrasound control by a radiologist. The injection of blood contains small cells called platelets, which contain platelet derived growth factor. This substance is thought to promote e.g. tendon healing.
A variation on the ACP technique is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), which is where the whole blood removed from the patient is spun in a centrifuge, separating the cells of the blood. As such, a higher concentration of platelets in plasma is delivered into the tissue for healing. Interestingly as shown in various studies there are so called protease inhibitors in plasma. These protease inhibitors have the capability to “knock out” the inflammatory cytokines, the metalloproteases, and the disintregin proteins. Disintrigren proteins e.g. will also cleave cartilage leading to its destruction. These protease inhibitors are commonly called autogenous protease inhibitor concentrate (APIC). The amazing fact is that APIC blocks out all known causes of cartilage degradation in animal studies and in all human studies so far to date. The beauty of this is that we are using the bodies own defense mechanism. The anti protease is called alpha 2 macroglobulin (A2M). The A2M is found in high concentrations in the blood suggesting that treatment with own blood is beneficial for healing.
As yet, there has been no study to demonstrate that a PRP injection is superior to ABI, with both techniques demonstrating improvement in 70-80% of patients. The following video summarizes technique and application of PRP.
PRP has been investigated and used in recent years as a clinical tool for several types of medical treatments, including nerve injury, tendinitis, osteoarthritis, cardiac muscle injury, bone repair and regeneration, and plastic surgery like hair growths. PRP has also received attention in the popular media as a result of its use in treating sports injuries in professional athletes.
There are, at present, two methods of PRP preparation approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Both processes involve the collection of whole blood, that is anticoagulated with citrate dextrose, before undergoing two stages of centrifugation (TruPRP and Harvest) designed to separate the PRP aliquot from platelet-poor plasma and red blood cells. In humans, the typical baseline blood platelet count is approximately 200,000 per µL; therapeutic PRP concentrates the platelets by roughly five-fold. There is however broad variability in the production of PRP by various concentrating equipment and techniques.
PRP therapy offers a promising solution to accelerate healing of tendon injuries and osteoarthritis naturally without subjecting the patient to significant risk. PRP is an emerging treatment in a new health sector known as ”Orthobiologics.” The philosophy is to merge cutting edge technology with the body’s natural ability to heal itself.
Blood is made basically of RBC (Red Blood Cells), WBC (White Blood Cells), Plasma, and Platelets. When in their resting state, platelets look like sea sponges and when activated they form branches. Platelets were initially known to be responsible for blood clotting. In the last 20 years we have learned that when activated in the body, platelets release healing proteins called growth factors. There are many growth factors with varying responsibilities, however cumulatively they accelerate tissue and wound healing. Therefore after increasing the baseline concentration of these platelets, a powerful cocktail of growth factors is delivered, that can dramatically enhance tissue recovery.
PRP is virtually a cocktail of many proteins that collectively stimulate repair and regeneration. However, there are some proteins included in PRP that we can now selectively isolate to promote anti-inflammatory effects and pain reduction. Scientists have now developed natural/homeopathic based tools to selectively isolate the cells/growth factors within PRP that meet the needs of customizing the treatment by reducing inflammation and simultaneously stimulating repair. The following video shows an actual treatment success.
As recognized international experts following 5 years of performing thousands of PRP injections and publishing numerous articles; we have learned that many factors can limit or assist healing. Because PRP utilizes own blood to heal, we have gained even more evidence that each patient is unique, and a “one size fits all” approach is not ideal.
From modern science, such as biotechnology, to ancient medical wisdom, such as Chinese Medicine there are many alternative and integrated solutions to medical treatment. They show sometimes even stronger, immediate, and better long term effects, with little to no side effects.
The technology of the future, spearheaded by Pervasive computing also called ubiquitous computing, is going to affect life, society and the environment we are living in, in a way we usually only see in science fiction scenarios.
Pervasive or ubiquitous computing is the growing trend towards embedding micro-processors in everyday objects so they can communicate information. The words pervasive and ubiquitous mean “existing everywhere.” Pervasive computing devices are completely connected and constantly available.
About 50 years back, in 1960, the, in that time most modern IBM 1401 made 400 calculations per second, filled up a large living room with its installation and did cost about 1 Mio £.
A smart mobile phone today costs about 50 £, the microchip has a size of a finger nail and does 1 Billion calculations per second; — incredible many times faster than the good old IMB 1401.
The exponential growth of computer power will profoundly reshape all of human civilization. Computer power doubles at this moment at a rate of 18 months and advances into an incredible science fiction like future.
The video from the BBC is an incredible vision of the technology of the future.
Hope you enjoyed the foresight of tomorrow’s life on earth.
Building Artificial Organs from Nanomaterials
A team of scientists has built an artificial trachea from nano-materials and stem cells. In the future, bypass grafts, tracheae, oesagphaguses and heart valves might be made of nanocomposites, too.
Back in December 2011, Jungebluth et al. reported in the Lancet about a patient with recurring cancer of the trachea. Conventional surgical methods weren’t working, so the airways were replaced “with a tailored bioartificial nanocomposite previously seeded with autologous bone-marrow mononuclear cells via a bioreactor for 36 hours.”
To create the new trachea, the patient was scanned to get an exact 3-D image of his trachea. From the 3-D scan, the scientists first constructed a glass model of the affected trachea. The model was then used to shape the synthetic scaffold that was seeded with the stem cells.
Findings after 5 months were promising: “We noted an extracellular matrix-like coating and proliferating cells including a CD105+ subpopulation in the scaffold after the reseeding and bioreactor process. There were no major complications, and the patient was asymptomatic and tumour free 5 months after transplantation. The bioartificial nanocomposite has patent anastomoses, lined with a vascularised neomucosa, and was partly covered by nearly healthy epithelium,” the report states. The seeded stem cells did their job and had specialized into cells functioning just as they were supposed to.
But the research didn’t end there. “We are currently working on bypass grafts, tracheae, oesagphagous and heart valves,” explains Alexander M. Seifalian, coauthor of the 2011 Lancet study and professor of nanotechnology & regenerative medicine at University College London, about the state of the developments in creating artificial organs.
And getting them to work in patients is no longer the stuff of science fiction. “Tracheae, bypass grafts, tear ducts, noses and ears are already working in patients,” according to Seifalian, who will give a presentation on Nanomedicine at MEDTEC Europe. “So, this is already a lab-to-patient process.” And since the patient’s own stem cells are used, there is no rejection by the body and no immune-suppressive drugs are needed.
Seifalian expects that the artificial trachea could be clinically available in as soon as two years, whereas other organs might take up to five years, depending on funding.
But he wouldn’t want to stop there. Asked about the limits of this technology, he won’t accept any but the brain as a whole. “Let’s take on other solid organs such as the liver and kidney. We might be looking at a 10-year timeframe before they will get to the patients, but they are surely possible.”
The nanocomposite materials developed by Seifalian and his colleagues are for special purposes: “We developed and patented two different kinds of these materials, one nonbiodegradable, and the other one biodegradable. The latter is meant for usage in children, where the organs still have to grow.” Making the nanocomposite materials biodegradable will allow the body to absorb them over time and replace them with its own cells
Source: Implantable devices by Thomas Klein on May 23, 2014
European Medical Device Technology; by Ute Eppinger
Picture: University College London
NEW STEM CELL BREAK THROUGH
ONE STEP CLOSER OF TREATING DIABETES WITH STEM CELL’S
Scientists in the Helmholtz Zentrum München, Germany have discovered key molecular functions of stem cell differentiation which could be used for beta cell replacement therapy in diabetes. The results of two new studies were already published in January 2014 in the journal Development.
The Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway and microRNA 335 are instrumental in helping form differentiated progenitor cells from stem cells. These are organized in germ layers and are thus the origin of different tissue types, including the pancreas and its insulin-producing beta cells.
The findings of the scientists of the Institute of Diabetes and Regeneration Research (IDR) at Helmholtz Zentrum München (HMGU) provide new insights into the molecular regulation of stem cell differentiation. These results reveal important target structures for regenerative therapy approaches to chronic diseases such as diabetes.
During embryonic development, organ-specific cell types are formed from pluripotent stem cells, which can differentiate into all cell types of the human body. The pluripotent cells of the embryo organize themselves at an early stage in germ layers: the endoderm, mesoderm and ectoderm. From these three cell populations different functional tissue cells arise, such as skin cells, muscle cells, and specific organ cells.
Various signaling pathways are important for this germ layer organization, including the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway. The cells of the pancreas, such as the beta cells, originate from the endoderm, the germ layer from which the gastrointestinal tract, the liver and the lungs also arise. Professor Heiko Lickert, director of the IDR, in collaboration with Professor Gunnar Schotta of LMU München, showed that the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway regulates Sox17, which in turn regulates molecular programs that assign pluripotent cells to the endoderm, thus inducing an initial differentiation of the stem cells. In another project Professor Lickert and his colleague Professor Fabian Theis, director of the Institute of Computational Biology (ICB) at Helmholtz Zentrum München, discovered an additional mechanism that influences the progenitor cells. miRNA-335, a messenger nucleic acid, regulates the endodermal transcription factors Sox17 and Foxa2 and is essential for the differentiation of cells within this germ layer and their demarcation from the adjacent mesoderm. The concentrations of the transcription factors determine here whether these cells develop into lung, liver or pancreas cells. To achieve these results, the scientists combined their expertise in experimental research with mathematical modeling.
“Our findings represent two key processes of stem cell differentiation,” said Lickert. “With an improved understanding of cell formation we can succeed in generating functional specialized cells from stem cells. These could be used for a variety of therapeutic approaches. In diabetes, we may be able to replace the defective beta cells, but regenerative medicine also offers new therapeutic options for other organ defects and diseases.”
Diabetes is characterized by a dysfunction of the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas. Regenerative treatment approaches aim to renew or replace these cells. An EU-funded research project (‘HumEn’), in which Lickert and his team are participating, shall provide further insights in the field of beta-cell replacement therapy.
The aim of research at Helmholtz Zentrum München, a partner in the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD), is to develop new approaches for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of major common diseases such as diabetes mellitus.
The above story is based on materials provided by Helmholtz Zentrum München – German Research Center for Environmental Health.
- D. Yang, D. Lutter, I. Burtscher, L. Uetzmann, F. J. Theis, H. Lickert. miR-335 promotes mesendodermal lineage segregation and shapes a transcription factor gradient in the endoderm. Development, 2014; 141 (3): 514 DOI:10.1242/dev.104232
- S. Engert, I. Burtscher, W. P. Liao, S. Dulev, G. Schotta, H. Lickert. Wnt/β-catenin signalling regulates Sox17 expression and is essential for organizer and endoderm formation in the mouse. Development, 2013; 140 (15): 3128 DOI: 10.1242/dev.088765
Cell therapy for multiple sclerosis patients
Closer than ever………..
Scientists at The New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) Research Institute are one step closer to creating a viable cell replacement therapy for multiple sclerosis from a patient’s own cells.
For the first time, NYSCF scientists generated induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells lines from skin samples of patients with primary progressive multiple sclerosis and further, they developed an accelerated protocol to induce these stem cells into becoming oligodendrocytes, the myelin-forming cells of the central nervous system implicated in multiple sclerosis and many other diseases.
Existing protocols for producing oligodendrocytes had taken almost half a year to produce, limiting the ability of researchers to conduct their research. This study has cut that time approximately in half, making the ability to utilize these cells in research much more feasible.
Stem cell lines and oligodendrocytes allow researchers to “turn back the clock” and observe how multiple sclerosis develops and progresses, potentially revealing the onset of the disease at a cellular level long before any symptoms are displayed. The improved protocol for deriving oligodendrocyte cells will also provide a platform for disease modeling, drug screening, and for replacing the damaged cells in the brain with healthy cells generated using this method.
“We are so close to finding new treatments and even cures for MS. The enhanced ability to derive the cells implicated in the disease will undoubtedly accelerate research for MS and many other diseases,” said Susan L. Solomon, NYSCF Chief Executive Officer.
“We believe that this protocol will help the MS field and the larger scientific community to better understand human oligodendrocyte biology and the process of myelination. This is the first step towards very exciting studies: the ability to generate human oligodendrocytes in large amounts will serve as an unprecedented tool for developing remyelinating strategies and the study of patient-specific cells may shed light on intrinsic pathogenic mechanisms that lead to progressive MS.” said Dr. Valentina Fossati, NYSCF — Helmsley Investigator and senior author on the paper.
In multiple sclerosis, the protective covering of axons, called myelin, becomes damaged and lost. In this study, the scientists not only improved the protocol for making the myelin-forming cells but they showed that the oligodendrocytes derived from the skin of primary progressive patients are functional, and therefore able to form their own myelin when put into a mouse model. This is an initial step towards developing future autologous cell transplantation therapies in multiple sclerosis patients.
This important advance opens up critical new avenues of research to study multiple sclerosis and other diseases. Oligodendrocytes are implicated in many different disorders, therefore this research not only moves multiple sclerosis research forward, it allows NYSCF and other scientists the ability to study all demyelinating and central nervous system disorders.
“Oligodendrocytes are increasingly recognized as having an absolutely essential role in the function of the normal nervous system, as well as in the setting of neurodegenerative diseases, such as multiple sclerosis. The new work from the NYSCF Research Institute will help to improve our understanding of these important cells. In addition, being able to generate large numbers of patient-specific oligodendrocytes will support both cell transplantation therapeutics for demyelinating diseases and the identification of new classes of drugs to treat such disorders,” said Dr. Lee Rubin, NYSCF Scientific Advisor and Director of Translational Medicine at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute.
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, inflammatory, demyelinating disease of the central nervous system, distinguished by recurrent episodes of demyelination and the consequent neurological symptoms. Primary progressive multiple sclerosis is the most severe form of multiple sclerosis, characterized by a steady neurological decline from the onset of the disease. Currently, there are no effective treatments or cures for primary progressive multiple sclerosis and treatments relies merely on symptom management.
New York Stem Cell Foundation – 24. July 2014