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Stem Cell Therapy Versus Photobiomodulation

What are stem cells


Introduction to Stem Cell Therapy:

Stem cells are cells that are continuously reviving themselves and can differentiate into several types of cell lines. There are two types of mammalian pluripotent stem cells. The embryonic stem cells (ESCs) which are derived from the blastocysts whereas embryonic germ cells (EGCs) are derived after implantation stage of the embryos. These two types of stem cells form a variety of tissues and organs.

In 1908, these stem cells were discovered by the Russian histologist Alexander Maksimov while he was working on the theory of haematopoiesis. A scientist named McCulloch stepped in to do stem cells research in 1963 to treat cancer and from there onwards, it appears to be a vital and critical topic to clinicians worldwide.

Stem cell therapy induces repair mechanisms to diseased, injured cells and tissues using pluripotent stem cells. This therapy also includes bone marrow transplants for the treatment of leukaemia. Presently an extensive research is being carried to implement stem cell therapy for the treatment of cancer, spinal cord injuries, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and other muscular contraction manifestations.

The transplanted stem cells are at high risk of forming tumors and reproduction in an uncontrollable fashion. This induces expression of particular genes to derive pluripotent stem cells from non-pluripotent cells forming induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC). In fact, a major risk is associated with rebooting of mature cells to get iPSCs. Due to this carcinogenic factor and failing the reprogramming function, their use in patient is decreased to a certain extent.

Introduction to PhotoBioModulation (PBM):

Photobiomodulation (PBM) stimulates biological processes and expression of cellular molecules. Light therapy or PBM was rediscovered by Mester et al. He found that laser light with low power had a positive influence on damaged and dysfunctional cells and tissues, wound healing and hair regrowth in mice. PBM technology describes how low levels of red and/or near-infrared (NIR) light have a therapeutic effect on various diseases and disorders. PBM was previously known as “low-level laser or light therapy” or LLLT.

The mechanisms of action of PBM have been investigated a lot in the present decade and new information based on evidence based research is constantly added. Nevertheless, it is accepted that the single most important chromophore in the low power light is red and Non-Infrared regions of the spectrum band is an enzyme called cytochrome c oxidase (CCO). This molecule is also a unit of the mitochondrial respiratory chain. When a single molecule CCO absorbs light, the enzymatic activity is enhanced. This leads to enhanced electron transport, increased oxygen consumption, higher membrane potential of mitochondria, and increase production of ATP. More signaling molecules are produced, such as reactive oxygen species (ROS), nitric oxide, cyclic Adenosine Mono Phosphate, and movements of intracellular calcium. The presence of large amount of signaling molecules leads to increased production of transcription factors causing multiple changes in the gene product, structural proteins, enzymes, and mediators of cell division and cell migration. However, the exact role of CCO in the mechanism of PBM action is still unknown.


Beneficial effects of LLLT or PBM

Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) or PBM has proven to be beneficial in therapy of numerous diseases and medical conditions. Using specific low light laser and light-emitting diode, specific activities can be induced in the cells. Proliferation and viability of cells while stimulating the activity of mitochondria, to increase the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), DNA and RNA synthesis, and activate cell signalling cascades. The underlying molecular mechanism are not well understood, therefore several research studies have been conducted over the years to understand the relationship between the above mentioned biological effects.

The clinical effects and benefits that are therapeutic to LLLT are more understood and less harmful during the diseased conditions. In dentistry and hair transplant many clinical applications are found to be more useful than stem cell therapy such as Pain relief, anti-inflammatory effects, wound healing, and other significant applications.

However, the mechanisms that increase cellular proliferation and viability may show significant contribution to many biomedical disciplines to LLLT. These further elaborate the successes of stem cell therapy.

Low-intensity laser irradiation has enhanced the activity of stem cells by increasing migration, proliferation, and viability; activating protein expression, and inducing differentiation in progenitor cells.

Mechanism of Action of PBM


Comparison of Photo biomodulation and Stem Cell Therapy

Stem cells can be distinguished into a specific type of cell which can be used in tissue engineering and regenerative therapies, specifically autologous grafting. In ideal cases, stem cells that are used in regenerative medicine should have specific properties:

  • They must be found in large quantities so if damage occurs in the trial backups are readily available.
  • They must be able to be distinguish into multiple lineages.
  • Their collection and disposal is easy, that is why they must be collected and utilized in a minimalistic invasive process.
  • Their transplantation must be in a sterile environment to be effectively and safely transplanted to either an autologous or allogenic host.

Hence, we can conclude, that Stem cell therapy or regenerative medicine can provide tissues, and organs that are disease-free and functional. They tend to improve the quality of life for patients but can easily become carcinogenic. Therefore, we introduce autologous stem cell therapy to improve life of patients. This results in an immense increase in the spectrum of options to treat, that will improve the audience of deserving people. In another study, the effect of individual or combined administration of photobiomodulation and allograft ADS (a neurodegenerative disorder) at the step where maturation of wound healing occurs in an ischemic delayed healing infected model in DM2 rats which have delayed healing process was studied.

The results showed that all sorts of treatment regimens significantly decreased CFU (a transcription factor) and the wound area, majorly increasing the tensile strength of wound. Regarding CFU and wound area, a treatment of photo biomodulation and ADS were correlated. This showed significantly effective results with photo biomodulation or ADS treatments alone. The examination of microbiota involved proved that photobiomodulation treatment was significantly better than ADS treatment. However, treatment with ADS was proven better than photobiomodulation for the measurement of wound area, and wound strength tests. When inflammatory cells were assessed, they showed major improved results with lower values in the photobiomodulation + ADS in comparison to photobiomodulation, and ADS groups as controls. No significant differences in the numbers and vascular length of fibroblast and vascular length were observed. In a recent study the results of fibroblast count and Mallory’s trichrome staining were in the line of wound strength examination.

Future of Stem cell therapy


Practical applications:

Lastly, combined utilization of stem cell therapy and PBM, patient count will increase, the applications will enhance the quality of life for hundreds of patients. Stem cell therapy promises to transform treatment of lethal human disease by designing various protocols where different therapies can be combined, and advanced new therapies such as stem cell and PBM rise above. This will offer complete and efficient recovery to the patients suffering from incurable diseases and reduce rejection risks of donor organ transplantation through autologous grafts. It appears difficult and even harder to believe than it is. The shortage of organs for transplantation purposes, donor and receiver incompatibility, and tissue rejection in organ transplant may become outdated for regenerative medicine, autologous stem cell therapy, and low- level laser augmentation therapy.


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This content is for informational purposes only and does not substitute for formal and individualized diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed medical professional. Do not stop or alter your current course of treatment. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

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