Considering the ailment, physical condition, and/or age of the patient, we at SCHI may implant the stem cells using a combination of the following implantation methods:
Intravenous application is one of the safest and simplest methods to administer stem cells throughout the body. Anesthesia is not required, but can be administered if necessary depending on the patient. The administration of an IV application normally takes about 30 minutes.
Intrathecal (Lumbar Puncture)
Commonly, intrathecal administration is ideal for most neurological conditions such as autism. With a lumbar puncture, stem cells are injected directly into the spinal canal through the lower vertebrae under local anesthesia and performed by a licensed and experienced anesthesiologist. Lumbar punctures are used for neurological conditions because the stem cells are injected into the spinal fluid which passes through the blood-brain barrier. This enables the cells to reach the spinal cord and the brain. This procedure normally takes about 30 minutes.
A combination of Intrathecal and intranasal methods are typically used and ideal for patients with neurological disorders. Stem cells are administered through the nose using an aspirator nozzle to spray the cells in the nose. The nasal cavity has two primary functions, olfaction (sense of smell) and warming, humidifying and filtering air we breath. Inside the nasal cavities are turbinates, which are highly vascular and convoluted passageways lined with a warm, moist mucosal layer. These highly vascular turbinates allow for rapid absorption into the bloodstream because the capillaries within the turbinates are specifically designed to allow the rapid shift of fluids across capillary membranes. Additionally, the olfactory tissues relay sense of smell signals directly to the central nervous system. Olfactory mucosa is on the superior aspect of the nasal cavity and actually extends through the skull's cribriform plate and into the cranial cavity, therefore passing the blood brain barrier, which is what is believed to aid in the reparation of cells for patients with neurological disorders or ailments.
Intra-articular (into the joint)
Intra-articular injections are commonly used for arthritis patients and those looking to repair ligaments and tendons. The stem cells are injected directly into the affected joint by a licensed physician and is a safe procedure that does not require anesthesia.
Intra-muscular and/or Localized Injections
The stem cells are injected directly into the muscle and/or location where the ailment exists. For example, patients with eye disorders such as retinitis pigmentosa will received a localized injection behind their eye, using a retrobulbar injection, which is an injection that targets the area behind the eye. This particular injection is done by an experienced opthalmologist.