FAQ's

Photo: FAQ's

What is regenerative medicine?
What are stem cells?
Is stem cell therapy safe?
Is stem cell therapy effective?
How do stem cells work?
What is tissue engineering?
What type of regenerative medicine research is being conducted at UC Davis SVM?
Who do I contact about enrolling in veterinary regenerative medicine clinical trials?
Can I donate to the VIRC to help advance regenerative medicine for animals and people?

What is regenerative medicine?
Regenerative medicine is the application of stem cell biotechnology or tissue engineering to aid in the repair of injured tissues.

What are stem cells?
Stem cells are a unique cell population that are present in multiple tissues in the body. These cells not only have the ability self-renew (produce copies of themselves) but they can also change into other types of cells (i.e. brain cell, heart cell, bone cell etc). These unique properties allow investigators and clinicians the opportunity to grow large amounts of stem cells and to treat multiple types of injured tissue. For more information about stem cells please visit: http://stemcells.nih.gov/info/basics/pages/basics1.aspx

Is stem cell therapy safe?
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) are a common type of stem cell used in both human and veterinary clinical trials. In the majority of these studies, the MSCs were shown to be well tolerated by patients with minimal occurrence of serious adverse events. Common reasons a stem cell treatment would be considered unsafe is because too many cells were administered to the patient, the stem cells elicited a severe inflammatory response or they developed into a tumor. Generally, our investigators have accounted for these issues and have performed preliminary experiments to determine risk well before the stem cells are administered to a patient.

Is stem cell therapy effective?
There are thousands of manuscripts in circulation that detail the effectiveness of stem cells for the treatment of a wide variety of clinical indications in both humans and animals. Here at UC Davis we have found stem cells to be effective in the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases, irritable bowel disease, orthopedic fractures, various forms of eye disease and many other diseases.

How do stem cells work?
In general, tissue injury means that a significant number of cells within the tissue have died or have stopped functioning correctly. To circumvent this, stem cells can be administered to the site of injury. In response to tissue damage, stem cells may change or differentiate into the cells that died during injury or they can release beneficial factors that act to stimulate regenerative processes like new blood vessel formation or scar tissue removal. All in all stem cells can aid in tissue repair through several mechanisms and many investigators here at UC Davis are looking to answer this very question.

What is tissue engineering?
Tissue engineering is the combination of biomaterials, cells and/or bioactive compounds to generate a product with properties similar to the native tissue. Tissue engineering products can be used as tissue substitutes in regenerative medicine, models in basic research studies or diagnostic test beds.

What type of regenerative medicine research is being conducted at UC Davis SVM?
Click here to learn more about VIRC Research Projects

Who do I contact about enrolling in veterinary regenerative medicine clinical trials?
Click here to learn more about clinical trials being conduct at UC Davis

Can I donate to the VIRC to help advance regenerative medicine for animals and people?
Click here to support the VIRC