Regenerative medicine is focused on restoring the conditions of our youth. Whether rehabilitating a disc, a joint, a nerve or the entire body, the goal of regeneration is to live longer, better and pain free.
There was a great amount of excitement when stem cell procedures first began to show the ability to heal and regenerate tissues, and now the science has advanced. The latest science shows that the exosome is the main functional unit of the stem cell that is responsible for regeneration and repair.
So what are exosomes? They are signaling proteins that pass on messages from the stem cells to other cells to begin the healing process. This process is called “paracrine signaling.”
The main function is cell signaling, which may be beneficial in tissue regeneration. The exosomes contain no DNA.
Exosomes are important in “autocrine” signaling (local between same cells), “paracrine” signaling (local between different cells) and “endocrine” signaling (between distant cells). These extracellular vesicles have been found in all bodily fluids.
Exosomes, although they contain no cells, are considered allografts. All exosomes have to come from an FDA-approved lab facility. There are no current FDA-approved uses of exosomes for specific diseases, but there is mounting research showing the potential of this allograft.