STEM CELL (FIBROBLAST)
Treating disease and preventing aging have been the driving forces of medicine since the early days of humanity. New treatment methods have emerged for these purposes with the recent advances in medicine and biotechnology. The most remarkable of these methods is “Stem Cell”. The journal, Science, has shown advances in “Stem Cells” among the 10 most significant medical developments. Stem cells have now become a preferred treatment option in dermatology in recent years due to their properties aiding repair and new collagen production. They are used in the treatment of skin defects in particular, and to treat facial loss of volume, acne, surgical scars, body contour disorders and widespread epidermis losses as seen in burns and with epidermolysis, and also to aid breast enlargement and skin rejuvenation due to their self-renewal and differentiation properties.
Stem cells are the main source of all cells in our body and have the capacity to divide and renew themselves. They can therefore help damaged tissue to reproduce and regain its former function. However, stem cell treatments require a multidisciplinary approach including the indication-specific clinical sciences as well as cell biology, embryology, tissue engineering, molecular biology and genetic sciences.
The currently preferred stem cell sources for skin rejuvenation are mesenchymal stem cells obtained from the skin and fat tissue. Fat tissue has a relatively abundant number of stem cells but the need for surgery and the high and rapid rate of melting has decreased the demand for fat tissue. New sources of stem cell have therefore been investigated and the interest in the skin has gradually increased.
The stem cell model primarily used for skin rejuvenation and the correction of skin defects is based on fibroblasts obtained from the skin.
Fibroblasts are the main functional cells of the skin. They are responsible for the synthesis of collagen and glycosaminoglycan providing the structural integrity of the skin. Besides, they play a major role in wound healing. Stem cell treatment has therefore been used for skin rejuvenation and the correction of skin defects since 1995.
How are STEM CELLS obtained?
The preferred area for obtaining stem cells is the area behind the ear. This region is protected from the sun and there is therefore minimum DNA damage. A small biopsy of 0.3- 0.6 cm is taken from the region. Approximately 50 cc of blood is also drawn to be used for the reproduction of fibroblasts. The tissue and blood samples obtained under sterile conditions are sent under appropriate conditions to a stem cell laboratory approved by the Ministry of Health. When the desired density is reached following approximately 3 to 6 weeks of stem cell reproduction, the fibroblasts are drawn into a syringe under sterile conditions and delivered to the physician who then administers them to the desired area with 1 cm intervals. Stem cell administration is performed in 3 sessions with intervals of 3-6 weeks.
Which regions are STEM CELLS applied to?
Fibroblast stem cells obtained from the skin can be applied to any area where rejuvenation is desired. However, the most common areas of application are the face, neck, décolletage area and hands. These cells are also used for sagging around the eyes, treatment of spots, correction of scar tissue on the face and body, and the treatment of skin diseases that cause loss of skin. The stem cells obtained from a hair biopsy are also used successfully in many disorders that cause hair loss, and especially male and female type hair loss (androgenetic alopecia).
How long is STEM CELL treatment effective for?
Although the effect is noticed immediately after the first session, the maximum effect is observed between the 6th and 12th months. The skin becomes 5-10 years younger after stem cell applications for skin rejuvenation. For example, a 45-year-old person will have the skin quality of someone 35 to 40 years old after 3 sessions of stem cell therapy and will maintain this effect for 5 to 10 years on average depending on genetic, structural and environmental factors. Stem cells will continue to produce new fibroblasts over the years and the effect duration is much longer than with other cosmetic procedures.
Are STEM CELL applications safe?
Stem cell treatment has been accepted as a safe method in various studies conducted since its first use. The application of fibroblast stem cells obtained from the skin was the first stem cell treatment approved for skin rejuvenation by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and was approved in 2011. It does not cause any allergies or toxic effects because it is obtained from the individual’s own cells. It enables recovery of the fibroblasts lost in time and stimulates the skin in the most natural way.
What are the important issues after STEM CELL application?
It is possible for patients to continue their work and social life after stem cell use.