Stem cells are one of the fastest growing areas of research. Some areas of stem cell research are growing at the astonishing rate of 77%. Significant progress has been made in the areas of Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, spinal cord injury, burns, heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis. With that growth comes awareness, acceptance, success, and yes, questions. So before we fast-forward to the use of stem cells for skincare or any of the much more serious diseases, it's important to understand the "research" that came before the "development."
The most common types of stem cells are embryonic stem cells (eSC), induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS), adult stem cells (adult SC) - and parthenogenetic stem cells (hpSC), which were created and patented by Lifeline's parent company, International Stem Cell Corporation. It's easy but not fair to generalize the four different types of stem cells, because they have different strengths and weaknesses.
The most powerful stem cells are known as “pluripotent” because they have the potential to become any cell in the body. The first pluripotent stem cells were embryonic stem cells, which, as their name suggests, are derived from embryos that have been fertilized in a lab and then donated for research. There are two problems with embryonic stem cells - (1) the ethical complications and controversies associated with creating and destroying human life, and (2) embryonic stem cells have very limited immune-matching potential. This is because, just like solid organ transplants, if the stem cells are not immune-matched, they will be rejected by the recipient. The only way to avoid this is to administer immune-suppression drugs, which have their own list of risks and complications, and in some cases can be as bad as the symptoms of the disease.
Non-Embryonic Pluripotent Human Stem Cells
International Stem Cell Corporation (ISCO), headquartered near San Diego, California, works with unfertilized human oocytes (eggs) to create its stem cells. The eggs are donated by women that believe in medical research and want to help cure some of the most stubborn diseases, and are given without compensation or limitations on how the stem cells can be used. ISCO partners with a number of In Vitro Fertilization clinics in the San Diego area to stimulate these women into producing several eggs. The stimulation used is similar to that of infertility treatment, but much gentler. The critical activation stem of the oocyte, without using sperm, then takes place at ISCO's laboratories in Oceanside, California. Since the process does not involve the Y chromosome, there is no potential for human life and, importantly, the stem cells can be made to immune-match a significant percentage of the human population.
Human Stem Cells and Growth Factors for Skin Care
After the oocyte has begun to divide and differentiate, and has developed into a blastocyst, scientists can carefully extract stem cells. These stem cells can be grown on something called feeder layers, media with special nutrients, that keep the cells healthy for many years. In Lifeline’s process, potent growth factors and other proteins are separated from these stem cells via a centrifugation process, or rapid spinning. The resulting serum includes as many as 200 different types of proteins-the most important being Elastin, Collagen, Epidermal Growth Factors, Keratinocyte Growth Factors and Fibroblast Growth Factors. The donor's cytoplasm and mitochondrial DNA are specifically excluded.
Proteins and growth factors play an important role in repairing skin damage. They trigger the natural repair process and help regulate cellular proliferation and extracellular matrix formation. This isn't "new news" - it was discovered back in the 1980s as part of wound healing experiments. But what is relatively new is the discovery of how proteins extracted from human stem cells can reverse the signs of skin aging. These are the key components - the heroes - of Lifeline Stem Cell Skin Care, because of their natural ability to visibly revitalize the complexion by moisturizing, and smoothing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
On the research horizon, growth factors from non-embryonic pluripotent stem cells may someday be able to provide scarless wound healing. They may be proven to have value for the treatment of skin conditions including eczema. But for now, stem cell cosmetic skin care is limited to topical cream and lotions for slowing the appearance of natural and chronological skin aging.
Lifeline Skin Care and its affiliates do not guarantee specific results. Results may vary.