Cells that heal are little miracles inside you. Regenerative medicine works with the form and function of cells to help create new tissues, and even organs, to repair, restore, or replace those damaged by injury or disease. Scientists have learned that the finite interactions between biomechanical stresses and biochemical signaling are integral to the healing process. When cells collectively are requested for wound healing, leader cells emerge at the front of the pack and send signals to follower cells. Learn how this process results in tissue healing and regeneration.
There are three steps of wound healing process that all involve different cells in your body. The first step is the hemostasis period where they body works to stop bleeding (in the example of a cut, scrape or puncture wound). Following injury, blood cells immediately begin to group together at the wound site and clot to protect the wound from infectors and stop further blood loss. Clots are created by platelets and are held together by a protein called fibrin.
After the clotting process, there is an inflammation period where blood vessels open and allow fresh nutrients and oxygen to the wound site for the healing necessary. Blood-oxygen is essential for healing. At this time, another type of blood cell, a white blood cell called a macrophage, takes the stage as the wound protector. This cell combats infection while regulating the repair process. Macrophages create chemical messengers, called growth factors, which work to repair the wound.
The third phase of wound healing is the growth and rebuilding phase. In this phase, the oxygen-carrying red blood cells come on the scene to build new tissue. Chemical signals trigger other cells to make collagen, a framework other tissues rely on to begin the repair process. Sometimes, this results as a red scar that dulls overtime.
Many cell types have the ability to heal wounds and regenerate missing structures. Neurons are sometimes able to repair and regenerate damaged axons–important since neurons do not reproduce. Cardiac myocytes regularly suffer mechanical wounding as the heart beats but are able to continue on and heal membrane ruptures.
This ability stem cells have to self-renew and to differentiate is what sets them apart from the rest. Self-renewing stem cells are able to divide and regenerate more stem cells. Differentiating stem cells can transform into the specialized, mature cells that your tissues and organs need. Adult stem cells target areas of injury and participate in the wound-healing process.
Researchers at the University of Arizona uncovered what triggers and coordinates cell migration, a biological processes present in all living organisms, but widely unknown–until now.
“Knowing the genetic makeup of leader cells and understanding their formation and behavior gives us the ability to alter cell migration,” researcher Pak Kin Wong stated.
Why is this information important? Bioengineers can use it to send normal cells to damaged tissue for healing and help prevent cancer cells from entering healthy tissue.
What does this mean for patients suffering from disease and life-threatening conditions. According to the University of Arizona researchers, understanding how stem cells work to heal can help scientists offer “…better treatments for non-healing diabetic wounds, the No. 1 cause of lower limb amputations in the United States; for plaque buildup in arteries, a major cause of heart disease; and for slowing or even stopping the spread of cancer, which is what makes it so deadly. The research also has the potential to speed up development of bioengineered tissues and organs that can be successfully transplanted in humans.”
The best way to learn more about the different stem cell therapies available, and which procedure would work best for you and your needs, is to schedule a free consultation with your doctor. To learn more, and to discover what stem cell therapies you may currently be a candidate for, call Stem Cell Centers today at (877) 808-0016 and see what stem cell therapy can do for you!