For persons considering the stem cell bank (storage)
The stem cell bank is a banking (storage) service in which young cells are stored frozen for use in treatment in the future. You may determine the storage time in increments of five years and the time of use freely. Liposuction is needed to collect stem cells.
Because cells are living material and have different properties, cells stored for a long period of time may not be suitable for cell culturing. It should be noted that culturing cells is different from guaranteeing the viability of stored cells.
- Persons with autoimmune disease
- Persons undergoing dialysis
- Persons taking strong drugs (such as warfarin and interferon)
Frequently asked questions
- Do adipose tissue-derived stem cells have higher regenerative ability than ES cells and iPS cells?
- Pluripotent cells such as ES cells and iPS cells and adipose tissue-derived stem cells (somatic stem cells) have different indications (congenital, extensive, acute, or chronic disorders).
ES cells and iPS cells are often used for organ regeneration, whereas adipose tissue-derived stem cells are suitable for organ repair. Adipose tissue-derived stem cells release more cytokines (proteins secreted by cells) than ES cells, iPS cells, and cord blood-derived stem cells.
- What kind of clinical studies are now being conducted with the use of adipose tissue-derived stem cells?
Clinical studies are now ongoing on radiation necrosis, breast reconstruction, breast augmentation, anti-aging, heart disease, tracheal regeneration, wound healing, maxillary reconstruction, complications of bone marrow transplantation, skull bone regeneration, type 1 diabetes mellitus, Crohn’s disease, and urinary incontinence. Preclinical studies are ongoing on stroke, spinal cord injury, tendon injury, hepatitis, fatty liver, renal injury, intervertebral disc injury, corneal regeneration, arthritis, periodontal disease, Parkinson’s disease, lung disease, vocal fold regeneration, and muscle injury.
- Is it better to collect stem cells when I am young?
- All cells, including stem cells, age. It is demonstrated that the ability of stem cells to regenerate tissue, cell functions, and the number of stem cells decrease with advancing age. Impairment and aging of stem cells have a variety of effects on physical condition; cancer, aging symptoms, and functional disorders may occur. Collection of fat (liposuction) is a substantial burden on the body and difficult when you are ill. It is therefore necessary to collect and store stem cells when you are young and healthy.
- Is it too late to store stem cells when stem cell therapy is improved and translated into clinical practice?
As described above, all cells age. When stem cells are needed in the future, aged stem cells may lose a part of their abilities. Thus, it is better to store younger cells.
- Is it possible to store stem cells of persons with chronic disease?
It is possible to store stem cells of persons with chronic disease who tolerate liposuction and have no contraindications described above. This is not applicable to stem cell-based therapy.
- How long can cells be stored?
- Recent studies demonstrate that cells can be safely stored for 30 to 35 years. For the stem cell bank of this center, the contract period is determined in increments of five years. The contract may be extended after the initial five-year period.
- When the depositor falls ill, can a delegate receive stem cells?
- When stored stem cells are used, the cells are not transferred to the depositor but to the hospital or medical institution that provides therapy to the depositor.
- What is the difference between adipose tissue-derived stem cells and other stem cells collected from cord blood or the skin?
The abundance of stem cells differs substantially between adipose tissue and other cell sources. Adipose tissue contains more stem cells than other somatic cell sources (such as cord blood and the skin) and allows efficient extraction of a large number of stem cells.
- Are stem cells discarded after the depositor dies?
- In principle, stem cells are to be used for the depositor, not for other persons. Stem cells are discarded after the depositor dies or may be used for research with the legal consent of his or her heir.
- Is there a risk of mycoplasma contamination?
During storage of cells, care should be taken to prevent mycoplasma contamination. Mycoplasma contamination is sometimes in the news. There is a risk of contamination at universities and hospitals where cells are stored frozen at −80°C to −90°C. The FDA in the United States strictly stipulates in the good tissue practice (GTP) that cells should be stored frozen at −150°C or below to prevent mycoplasma contamination. In the StemSource® Stem Cell Bank at our center, cells are stored in a nitrogen tank at −150°C in accordance with the GTP to ensure the safety. We perform all processes from fat collection (liposuction) to cryopreservation in accordance with the Cytori Therapeutics’ dedicated system and safety control manuals (GTP and GMP). All kits used for stem cell extraction are disposable.
- Are frozen cells safely stored in case of power failure?
- In case of power failure, an emergency power system works to maintain cells frozen at −150°C. Even if the electricity is out, cells are safe because the temperature does not change unless the nitrogen in the tank disappears (for one week).
- May I make the payment in installments?
- You may make the payment by credit card, with a loan, or in installments. Ask the clinic for details.