Science, research, and technological advancements have provided a better grasp of the precise processes that take place within the body as we age. The bodily processes that convert fuel (or food and air) into energy create byproducts that damage the cells in the area.
The body also produces its own type of exhaust as it burns fuel, just the way a car does. Internal waste products, or “exhaust,” combined with environmental contaminants cause deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) damage, oxidative stress, and inflammation, which eventually accelerates the aging of cells. The accumulation of injured cells can lead to tissue deterioration, persistent inflammation, and compromised cell function.
Whether or not to label and deal with aging as a sickness is a topic of some discussion. However, all types of chronic diseases, including cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and heart disease, are influenced by the molecular processes of aging.
Therefore, the demand for the development of possible therapies for slowing the process of aging, if not stopping it completely, is increasing rapidly in the healthcare industry.
One of the reasons for this sudden surge of conversations around anti-aging therapies can be attributed to the extensive research and development taking place in the field of life sciences and biopharma. Specifically, the advances made in regenerative medicine and related stem cell therapies with the help of cell culture procedures have led to this possibility.
The current understanding of stem cells makes it potentially possible to postpone aging and enhance longevity and health. Along with stem cell therapy for anti-aging, there are many other advanced treatment options available in the market for various beautification procedures. For instance, radiofrequency-based aesthetic devices are currently witnessing a significant surge in demand. These devices are used for nonsurgical skin tightening treatment with little downtime and preservation of the epidermis.
However, to slow down the aging process, stem cells may be extremely important. Combining stem cells and anti-aging genes can build a strong barrier that can ward off the consequences of aging.
How does the cell culture procedure enable stem cell therapy for anti-aging?
Cell culture uses a variety of products to help the cells grow, including medium, serum, reagents, and supplements. The cell culture procedure is the deliberate growth or proliferation of cells obtained from plant or animal sources in a synthetic medium.
Cell culture is a crucial part of biotechnology and is used in both commercial and academic applications. Genetics, stem cell therapy, and regenerative medicine are just a few of the areas where research on cell culture is applied.
Stem cell therapy employs cells from which new cells with self-renewal functions are generated using the cell culture procedure. These generated cells are used as therapeutic agents to rebuild, restore, or create a healthy body’s structure and function, as well as to slow aging and prevent diseases.
Cells or tissues from patients or healthy donors are frequently used in regenerative medicine. After being extracted from the body, these cells are grown or processed in the cell culture medium.
For instance, the ability of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to divide and differentiate into a variety of specialized cell types found in a particular tissue or organ is what defines their capacity for self-renewal.
Therefore, MSCs can be obtained from several tissues, including adipose tissue (fat), bone marrow, umbilical cord tissue, blood, liver, tooth pulp, and skin, to be used for stem cell therapy.
Due to their ability to self-renew, differentiate, and have anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects, MSCs are frequently employed in the treatment of a variety of age-related illnesses. Studies conducted in vivo and in vitro have provided evidence for the mechanisms underlying the safety and effectiveness of MSC therapy in clinical settings.
Additionally, technological advancements in cell culture, such as culture medium, culture vessels, and serum-free media, have made it possible to replicate the properties and functions of cells, tissues, and organs in vitro. In recent years, the preference for serum-free media for cell culture has increased over traditional animal-derived media. This is because serum-free media are purer than animal-derived media. Furthermore, they are less expensive and use fewer raw materials to produce a complete cell culture medium.
With a further increase in the use of gene editing and stem cell therapy, the use of serum-free media has increased in modern biotechnology.
According to the BIS Research report, the global serum-free media market was valued at $1.43 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach $3.50 billion by 2032, registering a CAGR of 12.73% during the forecast period 2022-2032.
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How does stem cell treatment work?
An average of 300 million stem cells are given to a patient during a stem cell procedure. These stem cells are obtained from samples of the umbilical cord that have undergone rigorous testing to ensure their sterility and viability (percentage of live cells).
Figure 1 Stem cell therapy process
For this treatment, the stem cells are kept in a cryogenic state (colder than 100 degrees below zero). The frozen cells are then softened to body temperature in a sterile lab prior to intravenous injection, and highly skilled doctors deliver the treatment over a period of many hours.
The large number of 300 million cells not only replaces the cellular losses a thousand times over but also compensates everyday losses that have been happening gradually for years.
A stem cell transplant attempts to replenish the stem cell resource that has essentially been depleted during the past 15 to 20 years. After the procedure, the body’s organs are refreshed and renewed with massive cell replenishment.
To counteract the effects of the aging process, stem cell therapy is being used widely. This treatment is essentially designed to replace one’s current “old” cells and help the body function more effectively by lowering inflammation, controlling the immune system, and encouraging tissue repair and regeneration.
Currently, the potential for stem cells to reverse aging has not yet been sufficiently demonstrated in clinical studies. However, by taking into account the aforementioned factors, it might be able to delay the aging process.