What is Regenerative Medicine?

What is Regenerative Medicine?

Regenerative medicine is an innovative field of medicine that focuses on developing therapies to restore or repair damaged, injured, or diseased tissues and organs. The goal of regenerative medicine is to stimulate the body's natural healing processes or replace damaged tissues with functional substitutes, ultimately improving or restoring normal function and quality of life.

Regenerative medicine encompasses a range of approaches, including the use of stem cells, tissue engineering, gene therapy, and other advanced techniques. Here are some key components of regenerative medicine:

Stem Cell Therapy: Stem cells have the remarkable ability to differentiate into various cell types in the body. Researchers are exploring the use of stem cells to replace damaged or lost cells in conditions such as spinal cord injuries, heart disease, and neurodegenerative disorders.

Tissue Engineering: Tissue engineering involves creating functional tissues in the laboratory by combining cells, biomaterials, and biochemical signals. These engineered tissues can be used to replace damaged or malfunctioning tissues, such as skin, cartilage, and blood vessels.

Gene Therapy: Gene therapy aims to correct or replace faulty genes to treat genetic disorders. It involves introducing therapeutic genes into cells to restore normal function.

Organ Transplantation and Xenotransplantation: Regenerative medicine explores techniques to develop replacement organs, either through growing organs in the laboratory or using animal organs (xenotransplantation) modified to be compatible with human recipients.

Biologics and Growth Factors: Biologic substances, such as growth factors and cytokines, can stimulate tissue repair and regeneration. They may be used to promote healing in conditions like chronic wounds and orthopedic injuries.

3D Printing and Biomaterials: 3D printing technology is used to create intricate structures, including scaffolds for tissue engineering. Biomaterials are used to support tissue growth and provide a framework for regeneration.

Immunotherapy: Immune cells and immune-modulating substances are harnessed to target and eliminate disease, such as using immune cells to target cancer cells.

Aging and Anti-Aging Interventions: Regenerative medicine explores strategies to slow down or reverse the aging process by addressing cellular and molecular changes associated with aging.

Regenerative medicine has the potential to revolutionize healthcare by offering innovative treatments for conditions that were once considered untreatable or had limited treatment options. However, it's important to note that while regenerative medicine holds great promise, many treatments are still in the experimental stages and require further research, testing, and regulatory approval to ensure their safety and effectiveness.

As the field continues to advance, regenerative medicine has the potential to significantly impact various medical specialties, including orthopedicsIt is a cutting-edge medical treatment that boosts the body’s ability to regenerate by replenishing the stem cells that diminish with age.

What is regenerative medicine?

It is a cutting-edge medical treatment that boosts the body’s ability to regenerate by replenishing the stem cells that diminish with age. In 2012, the words “regenerative medicine” and “stem cells” became widely known to the public after Professor Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his research on iPS cells (induced pluripotent stem cells).

iPS cells are “miracle” pluripotent stem cells that are artificially created by introducing genes into skin cells. They can be the source of any tissue or organ.
However, due to the risk of cell carcinogenesis, there are considerable obstacles to practical application.

When you hear this, it may seem like the realization of stem cell-based regenerative medicine is still a long way off. However, not all stem cells are special like the iPS cells. In fact, stem cells have always been present in our bodies and are essential for life.

Stem cells, which are so familiar to us, are now playing a leading role in regenerative medicine.

【What is a stem cell?】

Our body is made up of 37 trillion cells of about 200 different types.
The source of these 37 trillion cells is the『幹細胞 Kansaibo, (stem cell)』.

As the Chinese character for “stem”(幹) is used, stem cells, just like tree trunks that branches off, have the ability to differentiate into cells that form all tissues and organs of the body (differentiation ability). They also retain the ability to divide into stem cells with the same ability (self-renewal ability).

The reason we heal from cuts and broken bones is because our stem cells create the cells that become our skin and bones.

Regenerative medicine is the most advanced form of medical treatment that maximizes the regenerative capacity of humans by replenishing the body with these stem cells to regenerate tissues and organs that have been lost or damaged due to disease, accidents or aging, leading to recovery.

【Stem cells peak during the neonatal period and are rapidly declining.】
The lifespan of stem cells is said to be 120 years.
This is why it is theoretically said that a human being can live to be 120 years old.

However, some cells that differentiate from stem cells have a short lifespan.
For example, a skin cell divides about 60 times and has a lifespan of about a month.

Cells that have reached the end of their life span die and new cells are born in their place.
Stem cells in our bodies replenish dead cells through self-renewal and differentiation into new cells.

However, there is one major problem here.

Stem cells are most abundant during the fetal and neonatal period, and after that, they decrease steadily as we age.

As for the rate of decrease, if the amount of stem cells in the neonatal period is considered as 100%, it reduces down to 90% by the age of 18.

At age 40, the number of stem cells in relation to the total number of cells drops to 1 in 25, 1 in 40 at age 50, and only 1 in 200 at age 80.

The true nature of aging was the loss of stem cells!


What is being "young"?

Children heal quickly after being injured, mostly thanks to the availability of stem cells. The high number of stem cells is also responsible for the firmness and freshness of baby’s skin.

In other words, aging means that the supply of cells by stem cells and the replenishment by the division of stem cells themselves cannot keep up with the death of the cells.

As we age, we become more susceptible to life-threatening diseases because our cells are slow to regenerate and repair.

However, recent developments in medical technology have made it possible to safely introduce stem cells into the body.

You can replenish what you’ve lost with stem cells.
That is stem cell replacement therapy, which is the current mainstay of regenerative medicine.

Regenerative medicine not only rejuvenates, but also repairs damaged tissues in the body. It aims at preventing and treating disease by supplementing stem cells, which diminish with age.

[Types of stem cells]
Stem cells can mainly be divided into three types, based on their origin and capabilities.

1. ES cells (embryonic stem cells)

Stem cells are extracted from a portion of a human embryo five to seven days after fertilization and cultivated under special conditions.

These are called “pluripotent cells” because they can differentiate into almost all tissues and have a high proliferative capacity that allows them to multiply almost infinitely.

However, culturing ES cells has been pointed out as an ethical issue because it means sacrificing a fertilized egg, which is the sprout of human life.
Additional challenges include rejection during transplantation and the risk of cancer due to infinite growth.

2. adult stem cells (somatic stem cells, tissue stem cells)

These cells, present in our body tissues, has a certain degree of multipotency and plays a role in repairing damaged tissues and organs.

Adult stem cells include “hematopoietic stem cells” that differentiate into blood cells, “neural stem cells” that differentiate into neurons, and “mesenchymal stem cells” that differentiate into bones, blood vessels, myocardium, cartilage, and fat.

Among them, mesenchymal stem cells, which play a role in healing cuts and fractures, have become the mainstay of regenerative medicine due to their safety, efficacy, and ease of cultivation.

3. iPS cells (induced pluripotent stem cells)

In 2006, Professor Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University succeeded in artificially producing pluripotent stem cells that resemble ES cells in an experiment using mice. The following year, in 2007, he succeeded in culturing iPS cells using human cells.

It has attracted the world’s attention because it does not involve the ethical problems that ES cells do. Although research has been carried out in Japan with great national prestige, application to regenerative medicine has been difficult due to the risk of cancer and high cost. Major challenges remain before its widespread use.


Types of stem cells ES Cells Adult Stem Cells iPS Cells
Origin Embryo of a fertilized egg Present in the body Artificially created from somatic
What about pluripotent differentiation into cells?
What about the ethical issues? ×
What about the risk of rejection?
What are the medical issues? There is a risk of turning into cancer. Advanced technology is required to maintain proliferation and activation. There is a risk of turning into cancer.


【What are mesenchymal stem cells, the mainstay of regenerative medicine?】

Among adult stem cells, mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) are the mainstay of regenerative medicine. Mesenchymal stem cells are stem cells that have the ability to differentiate into the cells that make up connective tissues (mesenchymal cells), such as bone, cartilage, lymphatic system, cardiovascular system, and fat.

Mesenchymal stem cells can be obtained from a variety of tissues, including bone marrow, fat, placenta, umbilical cord (umbilical cord), and dental pulp.

In regenerative medicine, the following two methods are currently being used;

◎ Stem cells(Autologous cells) harvested from one’s own fat or bone marrow are cultured and returned back to one’s own body,

◎Stem cells (Allogeneic cells) harvested from other people’s bone marrow, umbilical cords, fat, or dental pulp are cultured and placed into the patient’s body.

Autologous cells are expensive because they are custom-made cultures. Furthermore, the cells themselves are old with low regenerative capacity because they are cultured from the patients’ own cells.

On the other hand, Allogeneic cells are inexpensive because they can be mass-produced to a certain extent. Also, stem cells with high regenerative capacity donated by younger donors can be used.

Of course, since you are putting someone else’s stem cells into your body, it is a major prerequisite that you use one that is free of rejection agents and has an established safety profile.


 【The effects of stem cells and regenerative medicine】

The reason regenerative medicine is attracting so much attention is because it is believed to have the potential to cure diseases and injuries that are difficult to treat with conventional surgery and drugs.

Examples include stroke, spinal cord injury, severe heart failure, liver cirrhosis, Parkinson’s disease, Crohn’s disease, and many more.

In regenerative medicine, stem cells are transplanted into the patient and is used to regenerate and treat the patient from the cellular level.

In other words, the stem cells themselves become the medicine.

Just as conventional drugs are manufactured under very strict regulations, the production (culture) of stem cells, the mainstay of regenerative medicine, must be strictly controlled and safe.

Among them, bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hereinafter referred to as “bone marrow stem cells“) are characterized by their outstanding regenerative capacity. Because bone marrow stem cells are very primitive, they are rejection-free.

In addition, the bone marrow stem cell “KINTARO Stem Cells®︎” introduced on this website have the following advantages:

◎Use of bone marrow stem cells with high regenerative capacity donated by young donors in their 20s.
◎Single donor with a clear source
◎Using a patented technology developed by a Japanese manufacturer, the product is cultivated in a clean room for pharmaceutical production.
◎Joint research with the Institute of Medical Science, Tokyo Medical University. Quality inspections are conducted every three months at the university.

Our services provide a safe, cutting-edge stem-cell treatment that cannot be done elsewhere!

・What are the benefits of bone marrow stem cells compared to other types of stem cells?
・How safe is it?
・Why is there no rejection?
・What about the burden on the donor?

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q1. What is regenerative medicine?
Regenerative medicine can be used to regenerate tissues and organs that have been lost or damaged due to disease, accidents, or aging. Body stem cells diminishes with age. By replenishing them, the regenerative capacity of the human body can be maximized to seek recovery.

Stem cells include ES cells, adult stem cells, and iPS cells, but one of the adult stem cells, “mesenchymal stem cells,” is currently the mainstay of regenerative medicine.

Mesenchymal stem cells are derived from bone marrow, umbilical cord, fat, or dental marrow, but bone marrow-derived stem cells are the best in terms of effectiveness, sustainability, and safety.

Q2. Are there any rejection or side effects?
Bone marrow-derived stem cells are very primitive and therefore have no rejection agents. As a result, although they are foreign cells to the patient, there is no rejection when they are incorporated.

In fact, bone marrow stem cells have the ability to suppress rejection, to the extent that Temcell HS Injection, which uses allogenic bone marrow stem cells , has been approved and marketed as a drug to suppress acute rejection (acute GVHD) at the time of organ transplantation.

As for the side effects, we recommend that you take your time and stay calm on the day of the treatment, as some people may experience tiredness or sleepiness after the treatment.

Q3 What diseases and symptoms can stem cells be used for?
In addition to anti-aging and health promotion, it is used to treat diseases which have not been cured by conventional surgeries or drugs.

Examples include, graft-versus-host disease, heart disease, osteoarthritis, bone and cartilage injuries, diabetes and its complications, malignancies, spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, cirrhosis, respiratory diseases, Crohn’s disease, autoimmune diseases, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), myocardial infarction, stroke, disc degeneration, anemia, Alzheimer’s disease, brain injury, Parkinson’s disease and many other diseases.

Q4. How long do the effects of stem cells and regenerative medicine last?
Is it better to take it more than once?
In the case of bone marrow stem cells, the effect is said to last one to three years, while for umbilical cords, fat, and dental pulp, it is said to last around six months to a year.

Stem cells continue to diminish as we age, so it is recommended that you receive them regularly, even after you have finished treating your illness or injury.

Q5. Is there anyone who cannot receive the treatment?
People with leukemia and stage 3 or higher cancer are not eligible for the treatment.

Q6. Isn’t there a burden on donors who donate stem cells?
The bone marrow-derived stem cells “KINTARO Cells®︎” are derived from bone marrow fluid donated by healthy Russians in their 20s (mainly 20-25 years old) and cultured from stem cells.

The amount collected is just 20 ml (about one-tenth of the amount for a bone marrow transplant for leukemia), and the needle is thin, so the stress on the donor is kept to a minimum.

Q7. At what age can I take the treatment?
You can do it at any age. The youngest patient treated with “KINTARO Cells®︎” is 10 years old.

Q8. Can pets also receive stem cell-based regenerative medicine?
Yes, they are also eligible for treatment.

Bone marrow stem cells have been shown to be highly effective in animals other than humans. Please contact us if you are interested.


Back to blog