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Age of Stem Cells May Be Important For Regenerative Medicine

In past posts we have talked about different efforts undertaken by scientists to find cures for traumatic spinal cord injuries. Some researchers are trying to use stem cells to help regenerate the damaged spinal cord tissue. To accomplish their goal, these scientists use so called “signal proteins” to induce the stem cells into grouping together at the site of the injured tissue and to stick there for the duration of the regenerative process. Yet, the body absorbs these “signal proteins” too fast for the regenerative process to be concluded. This has made scientists create devices that act as a “scaffold” that helps hold these stem cells in place for the duration of the process and are then absorbed by the body.

Perhaps given the inherent difficulties of all regenerative remedies, some scientists have decided to completely bypass the spinal cord and come up with a neuroprosthesis that combines a brain-computer interface (BCI) directly wired into about 100 neurons in the motor cortex of the patient’s brain with a functional electrical stimulation (FES) device that’s wired into the muscles of the patient’s arm. Should the patient choose, for example, to move his hand, the cluster of 100 neurons activates and generates a stream of data that is sent to the brain-computer interface. The BCI then reads and analyzes the data and selects which muscles (and with what degree of force) the patient is trying to move. This data is then sent wirelessly to the FES, which makes the necessary muscles move.

Younger Stem Cells Might Be Better

I believe we must do all we can to help those suffering from a spinal cord injury and I also believe all options are worth exploring. Yet, those who believe that doing away with part of our original equipment is not a good idea, may want to consider that newer stem cells seem to be better than old ones. According to, researchers studying stem cell use in transplant medicine have found that newborn stem cells transplanted from cord blood had younger acting blood cells compared those transplanted from other sources of stem cells like bone marrow.

Similarly, researchers focused in regenerative medicine are using mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which have the ability to regenerate tissue that connects bone, cartilage and tendon. The youngest MSC we can possibly collect, cord tissue-derived MSCs, have shown to have unique characteristics that make them specially suited for regenerative cellular therapies like those considered for spinal cord injuries. These younger cells are known to divide more quickly and more extensively than adult-derived cells, ensuring higher proliferation rates.

For decades now, the stem cells of millions of people have been stored in biobanks in case they are needed in the future. In fact, tens of thousands of patients have needed their stored cells for cancer treatments or other regenerative therapies. Over the years, researchers have noted that stem cells collected from younger and healthier donors are more effective in regenerative medicine than stem cells taken from donors that are older or not as healthy. Research seems to prove this to be true for both hematopoietic and mesenchymal stem cells, which indicates that it is better to collect and preserve newborn stem cells from the umbilical cord and cord blood for potential future use.

Of course, all of these treatments are expensive. However, if you are a victim suffering from a spinal cord injury caused by another’s negligence, maybe we can be of assistance.

We Can Help

If you or a loved one have suffered a spinal cord injury as a result of a car accident, a motorcycle accident, a tractor-trailer accident, an accident at an amusement park or any other kind of accident, you should immediately contact a law firm experienced in handling these cases.

Throughout the years, the Miami Dade County Car Accidents Law Offices of Greenberg, Stone & Urbano have represented victims of spinal cord injuries resulting from car accidents, motorcycle accidents, tractor-trailer accidents, accidents at an amusement park or any other kind of accident caused by someone else’s negligence recover the compensation that may be owed to them. Visit our website to learn more about our firm and contact us today for a free consultation.

Please note that our practice has been extended with a new satellite office in Aventura to better serve clients that reside in Ft. Lauderdale, Hollywood, Hallandale Beach, Dania & Dania Beach, Miramar, North Miami, North Miami Beach, Aventura, Miami Beach, Surfside, Sunny Isles and Miami Gardens.

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