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Stem Cell: What is it? How is it Done?


You can defy the years with the miraculous effects of stem cells easily and quickly. In this article, we cover frequently asked questions such as “What is a stem cell?”, “Where can stem cells be obtained from?” and “How is stem cell therapy applied?” alongside other essential points you need to know about cellular treatments.

Common characteristics of stem cells include:

  • They can replicate in a suitable growth environment.
  • They have the ability to proliferate indefinitely.
  • By transforming into specialized cells needed to heal tissues and organs, they perform this function.
  • They can self-renew, ensuring the continuity of their cell communities.
  • They have the potential to repair damaged tissues following injury.

Stem cells are categorized into four types based on their sources:

  1. Adult Stem Cells
  2. Fetal Stem Cells
  3. Embryonic Stem Cells
  4. Umbilical Cord Blood

Adult stem cells differ from those obtained from embryos and fetuses, found in tissues developing after birth in humans or animals. The most suitable source for obtaining these cells is often the bone marrow, especially the “iliac crest” behind the upper hip bone. Different types of stem cells, including hematopoietic stem cells, endothelial stem cells, and mesenchymal stem cells, are present in the bone marrow.

Hematopoietic stem cells, responsible for blood formation, are used in treating blood disorders such as leukemia and anemia. Endothelial stem cells are known for treating the vascular system and are used in vascular-related treatments.

Mesenchymal stem cells, capable of transforming into various cell types, are found in connective tissues and can potentially differentiate into approximately a hundred different cell types, including bone, cartilage, muscle, nerve, liver, and pancreatic cells.


1. SVF – Stromal Vascular Fraction

When it was understood that stem cells could be obtained from fat tissue, Stromal Vascular Fraction (SVF) was coined for the complex stem cell suspension that remains after separating fat cells through various enzymatic and mechanical processes. SVF contains various cell types found in adults, including mesenchymal, hematopoietic, and endothelial stem cells, offering 80-100 therapeutic properties. When administered intravenously to patients, SVF cells are utilized as therapeutic cells by the relevant regions. If desired, cells can be separated from SVF, cultured individually, and used in different treatments.

Similarly, in conditions requiring multiple cells to collectively treat diseases like burns and autoimmune disorders, cells are used without separation.

2. Mesenchymal Stem Cells

Cells with the ability to transform into other cell types. Adult mesenchymal stem cells, found in connective tissues, can migrate from their tissue of origin to damaged tissues, repairing and regenerating them. Obtained four times more abundantly from adipose tissue than bone marrow, adult mesenchymal stem cells can potentially differentiate into around 100 different cell types, including bone, cartilage, muscle, nerve, liver, and pancreatic cells.

Characteristics of Mesenchymal Stem Cells:

  • They can differentiate into other cell types.
  • They exhibit different appearances in the lungs, stomach, and bone tissue due to varying environmental conditions.
  • They can fuse with damaged cells, not only repairing damage in their tissue of origin but also migrating to repair damage in other tissues.
  • As connective tissue-derived cells, they can contribute to the development and function of relevant tissue cells.

To increase their numbers, specific culture processes in a specialized laboratory environment are required, demanding advanced technology, infrastructure, expertise, and significant costs. Therefore, a limited number of centers worldwide produce Mesenchymal Stem Cells suitable for clinical use, adhering to international standards (GMP – Good Manufacturing Practice).


3. Hematopoietic Stem Cells (Blood Cell)

All blood cells in our body, derived from immature (undifferentiated) cells called hematopoietic stem cells, are usually found in the bone marrow (spongy tissue inside bones) ready to divide to create new cells. These unique cells, first discovered and well-defined, have been successfully applied in clinical settings for years.

Functions of Hematopoietic Stem Cells:

  • They transport oxygen to tissues, ensure the functioning of the immune system, and control basic mechanisms such as blood clotting.
  • They are self-renewing cells that can differentiate into all types of blood tissues.
  • Used in hematopoietic cancers (leukemia-lymphoma-myeloma), non-hematopoietic cancers, genetic and/or acquired bone marrow diseases such as aplastic anemia, thalassemias, sickle cell disease, and increasingly in autoimmune diseases.

4. Endothelial Stem Cells

Endothelial Stem Cells mature in the bone marrow and, when released into circulation, play a central role in concentrating at sites of vascular (blood vessel system) damage, contributing to the repair of the damage. After leaving the bone marrow, Endothelial Stem Cells change cell surface markers, potentially differentiating into mature endothelial cells.

Depending on their division capabilities, Endothelial Stem Cells multiply and circulate to treat existing blood vessels.

5. Autologous Stem Cell Production

The process of culturing cells that cannot transform into another cell type in a laboratory environment and reintroducing them into the body to the deficient area is called autologous stem cell production.

Examples of cell types for autologous stem cell production include:

Fibroblast cells: Fundamental cells that produce connective tissue and collagen in the sublayer of the skin. In rejuvenation treatments, these cells can be cultured and reintroduced into the skin to repair areas where connective tissue has diminished.

Beta cells: Cells play a role in insulin production in the pancreas. Cultivating these cells in a laboratory environment and reimplanting them into the pancreas can be used in the treatment of diabetes.

Keratinocytes: Cells forming the outermost layer of the skin. In conditions like burns, acne scars, or injuries requiring the formation of the upper layer of the skin, these cells can be produced in a laboratory and reintroduced to the skin.

When aiming for natural and long-lasting results in the field of aesthetics, stem cells have become crucial. At Dr. Nüket Eroğlu Clinic, a thorough examination is conducted, and personal needs are assessed to provide options such as “fibroblast culture” obtained from behind the ear; Fat stem cells; Exosomes derived from Mesenchymal stem cells; Hair stem cells; Various cellular treatment options known as ‘blood stem cells’ are offered.

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