Therapeutic Potential of Stimulating Endogenous Stem Cell Mobilization

The past decade has seen a fast and extensive development of various therapies and treatment protocols based on Adult Stem Cells (ASC) and their application to various diseases. While some of these treatment protocols have been well documented in the scientific literature and used in well controlled clinical set ups, others have been developed and are being used by a growing numbers of clinics throughout the world, without thorough documentation though nevertheless with good clinical care and with the reports of very compelling results.

Despite the wide variety of methods, the general procedure guiding these various protocols follows a series of common steps. The first step is the isolation of stem cells from a source. For the purpose of banking or clinical application, stem cells can be isolated from a variety of sources including umbilical cord (Can and Balci, 2011; Zhang et al., 2011), adipose tissue- derived stem cells (Insausti et al., 2011; Zachar et al., 2011), peripheral blood stem cells (Kolbe et al., 2010; Hofmann et al., 2009), amniotic and placental stem cells (Klein and Fauza, 2011; Tsagias et al., 2011), dental pulp stem cells (Gronthos et al., 2011; Tirino et al., 2011), olfactory stem cells (Chen et al., 2006; Viktorov et al., 2008), and even human limbal epithelial stem cells (Vasania et al., 2011).

The second step is proliferation. This is not a necessary step with regard to stem cell function, however the small number of stem cells present in one umbilical cord, one placenta, one blood sample, one liposuction or one dental pulp makes clinical application difficult without the ability to expand the harvested stem cells. Methods to expand embryonic stem cells have been developed more than a decade ago, however it is only a few years ago that methods to significantly expand ASC have been developed, leading to an expansion of the stem cell banking market and greater clinical application (Ivanovic et al., 2011; Dos Santos et al., 2011; Pineault et al., 2011).

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