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What is Regenerative Medicine and Why is it Taking the World by Storm?

Global healthcare has changed radically in recent decades. Factors such as population growth and increased life expectancy, prevalence of chronic and degenerative diseases, and the incessant rise in the cost of health services have put an enormous strain on health systems to develop innovative alternatives that provide fast, effective and satisfactory answers to the new global health landscape.

The classical palliative approach of traditional medicine is becoming obsolete and ineffective in treating certain diseases. New alternatives through innovative approaches seek to solve the root causes. Among these emerging approaches is regenerative medicine

Regenerative medicine focuses on treating an affected area using the patient’s own (autologous) healing components, which are concentrated and reinjected to induce a fast and efficient regenerative process. When the basic ”building blocks” and stimuli required are placed directly into the affected area, a localized regenerative effect is induced, an effect that otherwise would not occur or would have taken a prolonged period of time.

This approach was initially developed decades ago for solid-organ and bone marrow transplants and proved to be highly efficient. With the discovery of new knowledge in the areas of molecular biology, cell biology and immunology, regenerative medicine stepped up to a new level. We are now able to better understand the role of molecules and cells in tissue regeneration, which factors interfere or slow down this process, and how multiple signalling pathways can lead to one result or another. In summary, we now know how to use this autologous arsenal in our favour with formidable results in hundreds of potential applications.

The most widely used and best-known of these therapies is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy. PRP has been the therapy of choice since it can provide two of the three components (growth factors and scaffold) deemed necessary to support true tissue regeneration.

PRP is defined as a portion of the plasma fraction of autologous blood having a platelet concentration above baseline. The goal of PRP is to enhance the body’s innate ability to repair and regenerate by concentrating platelets containing a large volume of growth factors.

Recently, PRP received a lot of media attention as more and more celebrities are using it because they are attracted to its natural rejuvenating properties.  PRP is used in various medical applications including tissue enhancement, treatment of tissue and cell regeneration, rejuvenation, reconstruction and general healing and repair in various fields of medicine. This includes the treatment of chronic or post operative wounds, orthopedics, general surgery, sports medicine, esthetics and cosmetic surgery, dermatology, scalp cure and hair treatment, dental and periodontal treatment, ophthalmology and urology.

In the coming years, it seems that we are going to hear more and more about regenerative medicine as it will play a significant role in the treatment of various chronic and degenerative conditions, while providing natural, cost-effective and permanent response to some of today’s most pressing unmet needs.

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