Hyperbaric Oxygen and Stem Cells

By /

I get asked all the time by patients about hyberbaric oxygen and stem cells. Should they use Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) to help their stem cells before or after a procedure? The answer is regrettably complex and subtle.

HBOT uses oxygen at higher than normal pressures to drive it into tissues that have poor blood supply. So it’s “high oxygen” therapy. First, we know that Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) love low oxygen (hypoxia) because they naturally live in this environment. This low oxygen keeps them undifferentiated (a blank slate). So what does high oxygen do to MSCs?

A recent study sheds some light on the effects of HBOT on same day stem cell treatments using bone marrow. In an animal model of fracture repair using bone marrow concentrate, animals that got HBOT had better micro-blood supply and fracture healing. In another animal study, HBOT increased the ability of MSCs to make new bone. To put a finer point on that idea, another study showed that this increased bone formation happens more in stem cells from older animals. In another interesting animal study, short-term HBOT increased the very small number of stem cells that could be isolated from the blood.

The upshot? Is HBOT a good idea with stem cells? It may or may not be a good game plan. If the patient has a fracture that needs healing it may be helpful, outside of that the jury is still out.

Join us for a free Regenexx webinar.
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. View Profile

If you have questions or comments about this blog post, please email us at [email protected]

NOTE: This blog post provides general information to help the reader better understand regenerative medicine, musculoskeletal health, and related subjects. All content provided in this blog, website, or any linked materials, including text, graphics, images, patient profiles, outcomes, and information, are not intended and should not be considered or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please always consult with a professional and certified healthcare provider to discuss if a treatment is right for you.

Get Blog Updates by Email

By submitting the form, you are agreeing that you read and consent to our Privacy Policy. We may also contact you via email, phone, and other electronic means to communicate information about our products and services. We do not sell, or share your information to third party vendors.

Category: Latest News
Copyright © Regenexx 2021. All rights reserved.



9035 Wadsworth Pkwy #1000
Westminster, CO 80021


*DISCLAIMER: Like all medical procedures, Regenexx® Procedures have a success and failure rate. Patient reviews and testimonials on this site should not be interpreted as a statement on the effectiveness of our treatments for anyone else.

Providers listed on the Regenexx website are for informational purposes only and are not a recommendation from Regenexx for a specific provider or a guarantee of the outcome of any treatment you receive.