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Stem Cells: The Future of Medicine
Over the past 50 years, there has been great progress in medicine primarily due to the use of artificial implants restoring compromised body functions. The next generation of medicine will be to better understand the healing power and the repair mechanisms which are intrinsic to our body based on stem cells. Research over the last years has revealed that stem cells are distributed throughout the whole body as they are located in every blood vessel. Each organ has its own stem cell pool which serves as its primary regenerative source. However the use of these “repair cells” is confined to the respective organ. Future stem cell therapy will be based on the possibility to retrieve stem cells from an organ that is not compromised by the removal of a part of its stem cell pool, to separate and concentrate these cells, and to inject them into a target organ or site of the body in need of repair. The primary source of these naturally pluripotent stem cells are the small blood vessels located within the adipose tissue as the impact of removal of tissue on the site of recovery typically is low. The number of stem cells to be found in the adipose tissue, when an adequate recovery and processing method is applied, is in a range of nearly one million cells per gram tissue, which is many fold higher than for cells found in the bone marrow. Current experience and results from clinical treatment with pluripotent stem cells has shown a very high safety profile and remarkable results in treating various diseases, such as orthopedic conditions, skin repair non-healing wounds and other diseases.