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Wellness Center: What Is Regenerative Medicine?
Regenerative medicine is one of the primary focuses of a wellness center. It is a branch of medicine that deals with the use and optimization of the body’s natural self-healing abilities to improve wellbeing. It extends to areas like organ transplant (real or artificial), cellular therapies and tissue engineering.
The body has natural healing abilities. In the event of a cut or scrape, the body will repair itself. If someone suffers a cold, their body will respond and restore them to good health. This is the basis on which regenerative medicine operates. Although it might seem like a new idea, regenerative medicine has been practiced for several decades. The first skin graft procedure happened in 1854, while the first successful kidney transplant was done in 1950. Operations like organ transplants and autografts are categorized under regenerative medicine because they are done to rejuvenate, replace and regenerate the body.
The main focus of regenerative medicine include:
Organ transplant medical devices
A person with a failing or damaged organ needs to get a transplant. However, the available organs are not enough and many patients die daily while waiting for a transplant. Even if they get a transplant in time, their body may fight the organ, necessitating immunosuppression drugs that may come with side effects.
Scientists and researchers in wellness centers are working diligently to solve organ scarcity by creating artificial devices that can mimic the function of organs like the heart, kidneys and liver without risk of rejection. Also, medical devices are in development to aid damaged organs and sustain the patient while waiting for a transplant.
Tissue engineering is another branch of regenerative medicine that involves the use of scaffolds – devices created from natural and artificial materials – to aid cells as they repair and maintain tissues and organs. With biologically active molecules, cells develop on the scaffolds to create healthy, functional tissue. Tissue engineering consists of materials like artificial skin, cartilage and lab-grown bone.
Cellular therapies focus on the application of stem cells to regrow and repair body tissues. Stem cells have an extraordinary ability to change into different cell types, whether skin cells, blood cells or brain cells. Every organ and tissue in the human body formed from a stem cell and the body continually uses stem cells to initiate healing when sick or injured. Scientists are trying to see how they can utilize the special properties of stem cells to regrow, heal and repair organs and tissues.
Cellular therapies can transform the method of treating ailments and diseases. Currently, medical treatments aim to relieve symptoms. However, cellular therapies aim to cure diseases at the source. For instance, stem cells changed into liver cells can ultimately be transferred into the body of someone with a damaged liver. The healthy cells may then repair the liver with the body’s natural healing activities – where the “new” cells replace the damaged cells or help them change into healthy cells. This will drastically reduce dependence on organ transplants and remove concerns about organ rejection.
The potential use of regenerative medicine is truly remarkable. A wellness center applies regenerative medicine to help patients achieve real and lasting health.
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