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Regenerative Medicine and Plastic Surgery - Regenerative Options, Procedure, and Approaches

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Regenerative medicine is a new field that is growing and becoming popular in medicine and deals with human cells, tissues, or organs.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar

Published At January 22, 2024
Reviewed AtJanuary 22, 2024

Introduction

The new field that is growing and becoming popular in medicine is regenerative medicine, where the body’s power is harnessed to heal itself rather than relying on drugs or invasive surgical procedures. This field incorporates tissue engineering, gene therapy, and nanotechnology to achieve the results. In order to establish normal function, replace or restore, regenerative medicine deals with engineering human cells, tissues, or organs. The use of stem cells, progenitor cells, and cellular products such as platelet-rich plasma are included in regenerative medicine. In clinical settings, progenitor cells and platelet-rich plasma are most commonly used. Since the stem cells are in early clinical trial stages, they are not commercially available. Progenitor cells are used in bone marrow transplants and platelet-rich plasma in the treatment of orthopedic injuries and degenerative joint disease. Stem cells are of different kinds that are obtained from different tissue sources and with different donor profiles. The harvested stem cells may be adult stem cells that are multipotent or embryonic stem cells that are pluripotent.

What Is Regenerative Medicine?

Regenerative medicine is a science that deals with regenerating human cells and organs or tissues to restore or establish normal form and function efficiently. It helps patients to heal more quickly from trauma, cancer therapy, and other diseases by using cells, tissues, drugs, and synthetic biomaterials. The goal of regenerative medicine can be healing damaged tissues and forming new tissue.

Is There a Need for Regenerative Medicine?

With increasing longevity and lifestyle changes, there is a need for regenerative medicine with all its ethical and political issues. As there is shortage of donors, the need for organ transplant has gone very high. A large burden on health care and patient well-being is due to diseases such as diabetes, osteoarthritis, Parkinson’s, and hematopoietic disorders.

What Is the Difference Between Autologous and Allogeneic Stem Cells?

The stem cell treatment is divided into two classes: autologous and allogeneic. Autologous stem cells are derived from their own body exclusively for their use, and allogeneic stem cells come from another person known as a donor. Autologous treatments are one-to-one therapy, which can be performed in the same operative session, and own cells are used. The cells are extracted from the tissue and reinjected back into the body. The stem cells used in allogeneic therapies are from another person known as a donor. Before being injected into another human, the cells undergo extensive testing for diseases, and to get higher cell counts, the cells are usually culture expanded in laboratories.

What Are the Regenerative Options in Plastic Surgery?

The regenerative options plastic surgery offers are

  • Helps to rebuild the facial structures after facial trauma injury or cancer.

  • Improves the appearance by reducing or removing the scar or acne.

  • Helps in treating incontinence, which is a women's health issue.

  • Treating skin fibrosis that has occurred due to cancer radiation therapy.

What Is the Procedure for Harvesting an Individual Autologous Cells?

Individual autologous cells or stem cells are harvested, which involves some procedure. A small wound is created at some parts of the body, and the cells are culture expanded and then used.

  • The tight control of the stem cells, whether isolated or induced over their behavior, is essential to increase the safety profile and efficacy after transplantation.

  • Large engineered replacement tissues are created for the graft to survive, which requires technologies that enable fully vascularised grafts to be anastomosed with host vessels at the time of transplant.

  • The outcomes of regenerative medicine are improved by creating a pro-regeneration environment within the individual.

What Are the Various Regenerative Approaches in Cosmetic Surgery?

The various regenerative medicines for cosmetic procedures are :

  • Fat grafts such as adipose or fat tissue are used to rejuvenate appearance.

  • Plasma-rich plasma (PRP) is used for skin removal and hair loss.

  • Stem cell regenerative medicine.

How Is Fat Graft Used to Rejuvenate Appearance?

Fat grafting, also known as fat injection, is a reconstructive procedure done for cosmetic purposes that reverses the effects of disease, congenital disabilities, trauma, cancer, or aging. It helps restore natural curves and fullness by surgically transferring a patient’s adipose tissue or fat tissue from one body area to another. There are better healing and stromal vascular fraction cells that will help reduce inflammation, replace damaged cells, and trigger the regeneration of tissues as the adipose tissue is brimming with mesenchymal stem cells, which are safe to use. Plastic surgeons have found out that fat grafting alone has regenerative properties without the need to extract the stem cells.

How Is Platelet-Rich Plasma Used for Skin Renewal and Hair Loss?

The blood contains platelets collected from an individual and injected through microneedles to the surface layer of the skin. This regenerative procedure is known as platelet-rich plasma used for aging and sun-damaged tissue. The natural growth factors and extracellular vesicles in the plasma function like a cargo service that delivers messages to heal the exact tissues needing repair. With platelet-rich protein plasma, the cells transcribe the reset of genes, and these cells will go back and produce proteins and genes more along the profile of what the individual was like ten years ago versus the individual's actual age. Platelet-rich plasma is also used for the treatment of hair loss and baldness.

What Are the Strategies Used by Stem Cell Regenerative Medicine?

The three different strategies used by stem cell regenerative medicine are:

  • Stem cells are implanted after tissue culture into an existing tissue culture.

  • Stem cells are implanted into a tissue scaffold that guides restoration.

  • To regenerate the necessary body part, induction of residual cells of a tissue structure.

In these therapies, the cells used are either autologous or allogeneic, and these cells are typically differentiated to maintain the proliferative capacity.

Conclusion

One of the rapidly evolving fields in medicine and surgery is regenerative medicine, which it allows the surgeon to harvest and concentrate on a patient’s healing abilities. The tissue concentrate is then placed into aged or damaged tissues and organs to heal.

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Dr. Preksha Jain
Dr. Preksha Jain

Dentistry

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