Stem cells are undifferentiated cells that have the ability to wwwelop into a variety of cell types (cartilage, tendons, ligament, muscle, bone cells). There are two different types of stem cells: haemopoetic and mesenchymal stem cells.
Mesenchymal stem cells have the best potential with respect to regenerative medicine. These cells can be found in bone marrow, fat and the umbilical cord. In equine medicine, these stem cells are usually collected from the bone marrow or fat.
Bone marrow can be collected from the sternum or the tuber coxae. After collection, the sample gets send to a lab where the stem cells will be cultured and concentrated. This process can take a couple of weeks. The dose administered is usually between 10-25 million stem cells per treatment. After sterile preparation, the harvested stem cells are injected into the affected ligament, tendon or joint.
Fat is another source of these mesenchymal stem cells. Similarly to bone marrow, the collected sample gets sent to the lab and is cultured there into a high concentration.