Which Amniotic Product Do We Use?

By Chris Centeno, MD /

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Because our research demonstrated the widespread fraud that’s going on in the amniotic and cord blood industries with claims of live stem cells in dead products, many have figured I hate these products or have something against them. Nothing could be further from the truth. However, we have strict rules at Regenexx. One is that we NEVER believe a sales rep or any white paper distributed by a company trying to sell something. Second is that we test all products ourselves in our own advanced-lab facility to see if they perform and meet our specs. This is why we chose to add the MiMedx product AmnioFix to our Regenexx clinics.

Don’t You Hate All Amniotic and Cord Products?

In short, no. I like any product that may help patients. At the same time, what I won’t put up with is orthopedic sales reps pulling the wool over the eyes of physicians who should know better. In the case of amniotic and cord stem cell products, our research and that eventually taken over by the IOF demonstrated that these products have no living cells. That’s juxtaposed to dishonest companies claiming ridiculous live stem cell counts. See my video below to learn more:

How Do These Products Work if They Don’t Have Stem Cells?

We just finished the annual Interventional Orthopedics Foundation conference, and one of the great lectures was by Steven Badylak, MD, PhD, DVM from the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine. He discussed one mechanism that explains how ECM products work.

What is an ECM product? ECM stands for extracellular matrix. The cells in your body make their own ECM that’s different and unique for all tissue. This is the stuff that they live in. For example, bone cells (osteocytes) make a mineralized mix of collagens that assembles to become bone. Chondrocytes make a compressive and shock-absorbing mix of collagens and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) that becomes cartilage. Finally, tenocytes make a stretchy mix of collagens that becomes a tendon. So an ECM product is the stuff that cells make without the cells.

While amniotic products don’t have live stem cells and their traditional orthopedic growth factor levels are low compared to even a simple platelet rich plasma, they do have two interesting things going for them. First, they may have unique cytokines and growth factors that may help tissue healing that we don’t understand. Second, and likely more important, is that they are likely an all-purpose ECM.

Dr. Badylak’s talk was amazing in that he demonstrated how various ECM products helped change the environment for healing. Basically, they were able to take local macrophages (the cells that help repair by taking out the garbage) to go from an M1 state (pro-inflammation and breakdown) to an M2 state (pro-growth and repair). So the efficacy of amnion may be more about its ability to shift a chronic injury site from scarring, swelling, and poor repair to lower inflammation and repair. Meaning that it may have nothing to do with stem cells or even high levels of native growth factors within the products.

See my video below for more info on how stem cells can turn bad macrophages into good ones:

Why We Chose MiMedx

As I have blogged, most amnio companies are still pushing a bait-and-switch stem cell scam to drive sales. They also have not invested a dime in clinical studies. MiMedx is different. First, they gamma terminally sterilize their products, so they freely admit that they have no stem cells or other living cells. Second, they have a robust clinical-trials pipeline testing their products for a variety of orthopedic conditions. See below:

However, there’s an even bigger reason we chose this company’s amnio product for our Regenexx network clinics. Of all of the amnio products we tested in our advanced research lab, this one performed the best. Which is why patients choose Regenexx. We test everything to make sure that what we give our patients is the absolute best out there.

Our Flexible Orthobiologics Platform

Our Regenexx providers have the ability to offer patients every possible orthobiologic being used today. This includes advanced platelet rich plasmas at any concentration or configuration. Fourth-generation platelet lysates, which are growth factors stripped from blood platelets to act as an “immediate release” regenerative cocktail. Advanced bone marrow concentrate or microfractured fat procedures. They can also deploy a number of cytokine-enriched serums, which are anti-inflammatory and possibly anti-breakdown. Finally, we are incorporating a number of ECM products, of which the best-in-class AmnioFix product is the first.

If you go outside the Regenexx network, what do you get? You get whatever some sales rep was able to sell a doctor. CAUTION, scientific reality may have been suspended to make the sale! These physicians won’t have a flexible lab platform to deploy customized biologics to help you heal. They will only be able to provide the “one size fits all” biologics that the simple bedside machines they bought create. Meaning instead of a Ferrari, you may get a moped.

The upshot? We’re proud to add MiMedx products to our Regenexx network sites. The main AmnioFix product passed our rigorous testing parameters, and also important, the company isn’t involved in a bait-and-switch scam to have providers believe that they are selling live stem cells in vials. The company has also invested tens of millions of dollars in clinical trials, which makes them right up our alley!

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12 thoughts on “Which Amniotic Product Do We Use?

  1. Donna Manning

    What areas of the body work best with this product?

    1. Regenexx Team

      Donna,
      We will likely use these products with certain types of tendon tears.

  2. Mike Vogel

    If insurance companies will pay for visco supplementation, what is it they need to start paying for stem cell therapy?

    1. Chris Centeno Post author

      We are working with mid-size and large corporations and insurance brokers now to get coverage for these therapies, so that’s happening.

      1. Joanna

        That would be amazing. Thanks for all you do

  3. Richard Baker

    I have recently had procedures on my left foot, left knee and lower spine, done by Dr. Kas in Henderson, Nv. Two weeks prior to the procedures I had to stop taking my arthritis medicine ( Etotodolac). Dr Kas told me that I can’t take these meds for at least 12 weeks after the procedures. My procedures seem to be very successful since the swelling and pain went away but since I can’t take the arthritis meds, my body aches in lots of places. Lol. Mainly because I’m 76 yrs old. I try to read all
    You weekly blogs and I’d like to know if you could subscribe a product by REGENEXX that could help me with my arthritic condition.
    Than You
    Richard Bake

    1. Regenexx Team

      Richard,

      Glad to hear you’re doing well. Yes, The Regenexx Advanced Stem Cell Support Formula and the Fish Oil would likely be helpful. If for some reason you can’t take the Advanced Stem Cell Support Formula, many people have found the Curcumin/Turmeric Complex and the Fish Oil to be helpful with pain and inflammation. You’ll find those here: https://regenexx.com/regenexx-advanced-stem-cell-support-formula/

  4. William Lund

    So, does this “amniotic product”
    affect what you are offering for severe knee osteoarthritis pain and or repair. For example would it be more successful than the stem cell bone marrow treatments I had in Hood River Oregon in 2016 ?
    Please update me on any more successful treatments ! Dr. Rigertand Dr. Marble .

    1. Regenexx Team

      William,
      I think based on our in-vitro testing and other data points that this amnio product is most likely to help with bigger tendon injuries.

  5. Judy Knight

    I went to one of the sales pitch meetings and it sounded great–too great. They repeatedly said that had treated people my age (82), but none of these people were at the meeting to verify their treatment. I find I am now receiving invitations to “lectures” almost every day from quite a few different groups. I have to thank you for your comments to keep us aware of this situation.

  6. Miss Mary

    common medicare, get on the ball so we can get these procedures covered. I would have given it a go if insurance coverage was available for your procedures. Have you experimented with any foods that would grow new cartilage in mice like jello. I think there must be food that we have lost in our culture that would work. Don’t see too many amazon people with arthritis.Maybe we have to eat more bugs. Ok thanks like your news reports to us .

    1. Regenexx Team

      Miss Mary,
      We are working with mid-size and large corporations and insurance brokers now to get coverage for these therapies. Knee arthritis was present even in our ancient ancestors, however the incidence has doubled in modern times. You’re correct that diet is involved, but there are many factors. This explains: https://regenexx.com/blog/risk-for-knee-arthritis/

Chris Centeno, MD

Regenexx Founder

Chris Centeno, MD is a specialist in regenerative medicine and the new field of Interventional Orthopedics. Centeno pioneered orthopedic stem cell procedures in 2005 and is responsible for a large amount of the published research on stem cell use for orthopedic applications.
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