Yesterday I posted about the engine that drives us here at Regenexx: our clinical research. Today I’d like to follow that up with why Regenexx Lab Research is truly second to none in practical, rubber meets the road, orthobiologics research.
Regenexx Lab Research
So how does a regenerative-medicine clinic do research? To do it well and right, it needs a state-of-the-art lab. At Regenexx we have a multimillion-dollar research department and lab facility that allows us to research the optimum ways to practice regenerative medicine, and we publish our scientific findings regularly. In our lab, we are to continuously improve our treatments but also to test manufacturers’ claims.
For example, through our research lab, we have advanced the field of regenerative medicine by discovering that common local anesthetics used to numb a site prior to injection are actually toxic to stem cells. We’ve also worked extensively on platelet rich plasma (PRP) dosing, trying to find the optimal dose for PRP injections into tendons. Both of these projects not only benefitted physicians within the Regenexx Network but all physicians who practice regenerative medicine.
The Regenexx Research Team Is Constantly Improving What We Do
The Regenexx research team stays very busy. The list below reviews a few of the things they’ve accomplished that have improved what our Regenexx Network physicians do:
- Improved stem cell yields in concentrating bone marrow
- Developed ultra-high-dose PRP protocols
- Advanced platelet lysates with higher growth factors
- Reduced red blood cell contamination in bone marrow concentrate (BMC)
- Developed a predictive model using multiplex micro-array ELISA of synovial fluid to determine who will respond to our stem cells based knee arthritis treatment
- Produced a protocol for selectively isolating high cytokine levels in serum
What About Those Manufacturer’s Claims—How Does Regenexx Research Those?
Device and product manufacturers distribute a lot of white papers which are a very different thing than research papers which have gone thorugh the peer review process to be published. White papers typically look like a report, but their purpose is to market a product or a service. Unfortunately, different manufacturers circulate so many of these white papers it’s really hard to know what to believe. There are many devices or products that cross my path that I’d love to use, and I’d be one of their biggest customers…if the products really did what the sales reps and white papers claimed. This is why it’s so important to us that we research a product before we use it in our patients.
So how do we separate fact from marketing hype? Through Regenexx Lab Research and testing. Here are a few of the devices and products we’ve tested over the years and why we tested them:
- Tulip emulsifier—does this produce free stem cells? We saw people lecturing that they were mechanically emulsifying fat and that this was producing a stem-cell-type procedure. We never found any stem cells.
- Vibration-assisted liposuction—can this produce viable stem cells without digestion (digestion is a process that releases stem cells from fat, and it is currently illegal)? A manufacturer told us we could get viable stem cells out of fat without digestion if we used this device. W did see a few stem cells, but far less than was in bone marrow.
- Marrow Miner device—does the device increase the yield of a bone marrow aspiration (BMA)? The plug for the Marrow Miner device was that it would increase stem cell yield from a BMA. It didn’t beat our standard draw technique.
- Marrow Cellutions device—does this increase stem cell yield? We looked at the Marrow Cellutions device because the manufacturer claimed it increased stem cell yield. This test is still in progress.
The upshot? Regenexx Lab research is second to none in practical orthobiologics research because we are defining and advancing the field of interventional orthopedics by dedicating a great deal of resources, time, and money to continuously advancing what we do and publishing our data. While what we do in the lab benefits our provider network, it also frequently benefits everyone else as well. We also research those devices so many other clinics buy on a sales rep’s word. Why? Because it’s the right thing to do. For the advancement of interventional orthopedics, for the education of physicians in and entering this field, and, most of all, to continuously improve the outcomes of our patients.