Once upon a time, the idea of regenerative medicine seemed like nothing more than science fiction. Now, though, it’s a real and effective branch of medicine that physicians are using to treat a wide range of patients.
The global regenerative medicine market is booming right now, and it’s not showing any signs of slowing down. It’s currently worth a little more than $5.4 billion, and it’s like to reach a valuation of more than $39 billion by the year 2023.
Are you interested in learning more about regenerative medicine? Have you been wondering whether or not it’ll be beneficial to you? If so, keep reading.
Listed below are six fascinating facts about regenerative medicine that will get you up to speed and help you become more knowledgeable about this incredible topic.
1. What Is Regenerative Medicine?
Regenerative medicine involves the creation of living, functional tissue in a laboratory setting.
Physicians can use this new tissue to replace tissues throughout the body and restore function to organs that have diminished due to age, disease, congenital defects, or other types of damage.
Regenerative medicine is a relatively new branch of medicine, but it’s made great strides over the last few years.
It’s expected to help solve a number of problems within the medical community, including issues related to organ shortage among transplant patients.
2. Types of Regenerative Medicine
There are many different branches of regenerative medicine. The following are the most well-known and developed branches:
Stem Cell Therapies
Stem cells are human cells that can take on the characteristics of cells for various bodily tissues.
Human embryos are a common source of stem cells. They can also be taken from adult body tissues, including bone marrow, placental tissue, and blood. Other adult cells, such as skin cells, can be modified to become stem cells, too.
Stem cell therapies involve the injection of stem cells into damaged tissues to treat a wide range of health problems.
PRP (platelet-rich plasma) injections are another popular form of regenerative medicine.
In order to benefit from these injections, a physician must first extract a patient’s blood and spin it in a centrifuge to separate it into different layers.
One layer, known as PRP concentrate, is rich in platelets and growth factors.
When this layer gets injected back into the patient, it can help to speed up the healing and recovery process.
In laboratory settings, physicians have managed to engineer viable human tissue using regenerative medicine techniques.
They’ve even been able to engineer the cells necessary to form a functional heart valve.
Tissue engineering is the new frontier in regenerative medicine.
It still needs thorough testing in clinical trials. Eventually, though, it will be an incredible technique used to help patients whose organs are not working properly.
Medical Devices and Artificial Organs
In addition to engineering functional tissue, researchers have also gone so far as to engineer functional medical devices and artificial organs.
These devices and organs work exactly as natural organs and organ systems do within the body.
They allow patients to enjoy a higher quality of life and, in some cases, can eliminate the need for a donor organ altogether.
3. Regenerative Medicine Benefits
There are lots of reasons why someone might want to utilize regenerative medicine. Some of the greatest benefits that it has to offer include:
- Faster recovery times
- Reduced pain
- Reduced injury risk
- Increased tissue functionality
Physicians have also used regenerative medicine to treat a wide range of health problems, from diabetes and orthopedic injuries to urinary incontinence and certain types of cancer.
4. Who Should Try Regenerative Medicine?
Regenerative medicine is a promising intervention for many different healthcare patients. Some people are better candidates than others, though.
The following are individuals who are most likely to benefit from regenerative medicine:
- Those who struggle with mild-to-moderate orthopedic issues
- Those with chronic tendinitis or other inflammatory conditions
- Those who want an alternative to surgery
- Those who are looking for faster recovery times
- Those who have significant financial means (regenerative medicine is not covered by most insurance providers)
- Those who do not smoke or consume alcohol in excess
- Those who are in generally good health
If you can check at least some of these boxes, there’s a good chance regenerative medicine is a good fit for you.
5. Who Should NOT Try Regenerative Medicine?
At the same time, there are some people who should avoid regenerative medicine, including the following individuals:
- Those who are in poor health
- Those who suffer from autoimmune diseases
- Those with hormone imbalances
- Those who smoke or consume alcohol in excess
- Those who rely heavily on NSAID drugs like ibuprofen
- Those who take blood-thinning drugs
- Those who are suffering from an active infection
- Those who are severely overweight or obese
Regenerative medicine is also not for you if you suffer from multiple chronic illnesses like diabetes, hypothyroidism, and/or lymphoma or leukemia.
6. Finding Regenerative Medicine Specialists
If you want to learn more about regenerative medicine or give it a try, it’s important to find a qualified regenerative medicine specialist to handle your treatment.
The following are some tips that will help you find the right person for the job:
- Consider their training and experience
- Find out about their success rate working on patients like you
- Make sure they have the right tools to handle your treatment
- Make sure they are thoroughly trained in how to use those tools
- Ask about their plan for follow-up care
This last point is especially important. Steer clear of any specialist who does not have a plan in place to help you recover safely and get back on your feet as soon as possible.
Get More Healthcare Information Today
Whether you’re interested in trying regenerative medicine for yourself or you want to pass facts about it on to someone else, this information will be very helpful.
Keep it in mind so you can stay educated and ensure you’re providing others with accurate information about this exciting area of the medical field.
Do you want to learn more about regenerative medicine or other updates in the healthcare field?
If so, we’ve got lots of resources available on our website.
Check out some of our other health articles today to get educated on all the ways healthcare is changing and improving.