Stem Cell Delivery Technique for Spinal Cord Regenerative Medicine

Significant research is underway in Regenerative Medicine to use neural stem cells or neural precursor cells to repair spinal cord injuries or diseases. One of the issues to address has been the delivery method to get these stem cells and growth factors into the spinal cord. Stem cells are able to generate into different types of functional cells. Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a method to inject growth factors and draw in Stem Cells. One of the differential cells down the line are neural precursor cells. Stem cells differentiate into other types of cells in part because of the environment or types of cells that are surrounding them.

There is an inherent risk when injecting stem cells into or around the spinal cord as the needle itself can cause damage to the spinal cord or cause bleeding in the area. Researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine have been conducting new delivery techniques play stem cells in and around injured spinal cords. They have been experimenting on mice trying to find a precise delivery method for the spinal stem cells which minimize the risk of spinal cord injury. They have developed a new technique which is less invasive, where they inject the cells into a tiny space just above the spinal cord. This anatomical space is called the spinal subpial space. When neural stem cells are placed in this area they are able to migrate into the damaged or diseased areas and take on the regenerative properties of the cells around them with the goal to become functional healthy neural cells. Further research is planned on different animal models with anatomy resembling human structures.

Martin Marsala, Kota Kamizato, Takahiro Tadokoro, Michael Navarro, Stefan Juhas, Jana Juhasova, Silvia Marsala, Hana Studenovska, Vladimir Proks, Tom Hazel, Karl Johe, Manabu Kakinohana, Shawn Driscoll, Thomas Glenn, Samuel Pfaff, Joseph Ciacci. Spinal parenchymal occupation by neural stem cells after subpial delivery in adult immunodeficient ratsSTEM CELLS Translational Medicine, 2019; 9 (2): 177 DOI: 10.1002/sctm.19-0156

Chicago Aesthetics Conference

Dr. AJ Cummings attended a medical aesthetics conference in Chicago last weekend. The latest techniques for fillers and Botox were reviewed as well as Skin Rejuvenation with laser therapy. Valuable time was also spent with colleagues discussing some of the many clinical results experienced with different PRP uses. Specifically micro-needling with platelet-rich plasma which DaVinci Medical has been offering as anesthetics option for skin rejuvenation.

Hair restoration research with medications

Cosmetic hair restoration is an issue that many men and women suffer with with male pattern baldness and thinning hair. A group of researchers at the University of Manchester published a study showing how the side effects of some medications can actually be used to help stimulate hair growth. A drug that has been around since the 1980’s called Cyclosporine A had a side effect of patients having hair growth. The researchers discovered that the drug has in it an inhibitory mechanism that stops the body from using a certain protein that inhibits the growth of hair cells. The researchers used donated human hair follicles and found they promoted the human hair growth in the laboratory. Further research is needed.

Minimally invasive procedures which promote blood circulation in the scalp and stimulate growth factors include micro-needling with or without platelet rich plasma PRP.

  1. Nathan J. Hawkshaw, Jonathan A. Hardman, Iain S. Haslam, Asim Shahmalak, Amos Gilhar, Xinhong Lim, Ralf Paus. Identifying novel strategies for treating human hair loss disorders: Cyclosporine A suppresses the Wnt inhibitor, SFRP1, in the dermal papilla of human scalp hair folliclesPLOS Biology, 2018; 16 (5): e2003705 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.2003705

Rotator Cuff Tears and Stem Cells

Regenerative medicine with stem cells for rotator cuff injuries is being researched. Rotator cuff injuries are a common problem with the shoulder. The rotator cuff is a set of muscles and tendons which provide stability for the shoulder and allows extensive movement. The rotator cuff is prone to injury either through something abruptly happening or wear and tear or a combination of both. Often these injuries are difficult to heal and sometimes require surgery. In regenerative medicine, the body’s own healing potentials are attempted to be harnessed. Stem cells can grow into different types of cells. Researchers at the University of Michigan analyzed the stem cells that surround the rotator cuff and found that there were markers present that were more likely to produce new fat growth instead of new muscle growth when compared to other stem cells around other muscles in the body. This sheds light on to the possibility of taking stem cells from a different part of the body and placing them near the rotator cuff to help develop stronger muscle and tendon.

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Hottest Trends in Med Spas; Microneedling

Practical Dermatology this March has reviewed some of the aesthetic trends taking the nation by storm. Top of this list is Microneedling. DaVinci Med Spa is ahead of the curve. We have been preforming microneedling, also known as Collagen Induction Therapy, for years. Our clients are happy we are seeing great results. This therapy has minimal discomfort, minimal down time and natural results.

Cortisone (triamcinolone) shots in arthritic knees or PRP

According to a recently published research paper by Timothy E. McAlindon, DM, MPH, et al, “Among patients with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis, intra-articular triamcinolone, compared with intra-articular saline, increased cartilage volume loss and had no effect on knee pain over 2 years.” This report was published in The Journal of the American Medical Association in May of 2017. 140 patients with symptomatic arthritis were entered into the study. Half got a cortisone shot every 3 months while the other half got saline (placebo) shots in their knee. Those that got cortisone shots resulted in significantly greater cartilage volume loss than did saline patients. In other words they lost cartilage with steroid shots and did no better as far as pain.

Dr AJ Cummings has been using Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) instead of cortisone shots on his patients for years now.