COVID-19 UPDATE: Regenexx is committed to the health and safety of our patients. You may now be seen in clinic or via telemedicine for virtual/online or phone visits.
LEARN MORE
Our physicians are available via telemedicine to continue to give you the care you need during this difficult time. Learn more.

More on Zombie Stem Cells

By /

Receive a Regenexx® Patient Info Packet by email and learn why it's a superior regenerative solution.

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.

zombie stem cells

A while back I blogged about the fact that living stem cells could be isolated from fresh cadavers up to 2+ weeks old. This is a bizarre thing and testament to how, even in a limited nutrient and oxygen environment, these hearty cells keep going. In fact, it may be because many stem cells live in already harsh environments in the body (often with little oxygen), so that makes them able to keep living after the host is dead. Now a paper just published extends that zombie stem cell limit to 5 years! In this case arteries were harvested for a tissue bank within 12 hours to 4 days after death and then stored through cryo-preservation (deep freeze) for 5 years. The mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) were then recovered, isolated, and culture expanded to bigger numbers. They demonstrated all of the properties you would expect from MSCs. What’s amazing is not only that MSCs were still alive in the artery walls of these dead patients for up to 4 days, but that a sub-population of them was hearty enough to survive the freezing process as a whole organ (i.e. artery) rather than as a single cell. Preserving whole organs is hard, as they tend to form disruptive ice crystals that can shred living cells, whereas preserving single cells is easy, as you can more thoroughly permeate them with cryo protectant so that this doesn’t happen. This discovery will likely give hope to the families of those hearty souls stored at Alcor and other such facilities who had their bodies cryo-preserved within minutes to hours after death. Even if their broken body as a whole can never been recovered (due to ice crystals), as long as they’re stored diligently, they may well have recoverable cells that can be easily isolated, grown, and cloned into a whole person in some more advanced future.

The upshot? Zombie stem cells? This stuff is really weird in that it turns on its head the meaning of death. Is death when your heart stops, brain stops, or when all the cells in your body die? As we’re more able to resuscitate first the recently dead and next the very dead (through recovering some of their living cells and then advanced cloning), we’re going to have to rejigger our definitions a bit. In addition, I smell a hell of a Hollywood script in the making…

Category: Latest News

Is Regenexx Right For You?

Request a free Regenexx Info Packet

REGENEXX WEBINARS

Learn about the #1 Stem Cell & Platelet Procedures for treating arthritis, common joint injuries & spine pain.

Join a Webinar

RECEIVE BLOG ARTICLES BY EMAIL

Get fresh updates and insights from Regenexx delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to the Blog

CONTACT US

9035 Wadsworth Pkwy #1000
Westminster, CO 80021
888-525-3005

FOLLOW US

Copyright © Regenexx 2020. All rights reserved. | Privacy Policy

*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.

LinkedIn
Email