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  • Writer's pictureRoger Schechter, MD

Secretomes and Stem Cells

Updated: Jul 28, 2022

Recent years have seen an increase in innovative therapies entering the tissue regeneration space. Science continues to evolve seeking solutions to combat the effects of aging and tissue damage. One exciting therapy is stem cells and more recently, Secretomes. These treatments are gaining traction in a variety of areas including wound repair, post-surgery, joint damage, hair loss and as an adjunct to several aesthetic procedures.

Research from stem cells has not only helped doctors better understand disease, but also helps identify how specific cells can be used to regenerate and repair damaged tissue. Stem cells are derived from amniotic fluid, embryonic tissue, bone marrow or by reprogramming adult cells. There is still much to learn about the use of stem cells including applications for organ transplantation and in repairing tissue damage. Depending on the source of the stem cell, the cells may grow irregularly or specialize in different cell types spontaneously. Sourcing of stem cells is somewhat of a contentious issue and the FDA is highly regulating these treatments as further research occurs.

Secretomes are nano-sized biomolecules that include lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids. They are small vesicles that allow cells to communicate with each other and circulate through bodily fluids. Recent studies have demonstrated that secretomes have efficacy in various skin defects including aging, atopic dermatitis and wounds. To date, there is no correlation between the tissue source and the therapeutic efficacy of the product.

Secretomes repair damaged tissue at sites of inflammation and result in functional changes that include angiogenesis, anti-apoptosis and anti-aging. They are also useful in hair growth and anti-wrinkle treatment due to the presence of collagen, keratin, elastic fiber, miRNA and fibulin protein-encoding genes. The results of using secretomes including reduced downtime and a dramatic reduction in inflammation as well as potentiation of tissue repair procedures.

Secretomes are laboratory cultured and require isolation techniques to ensure a high degree of purity. The secretomes are derived based on cell type and have distinct therapeutic abilities. They have low immunogenicity and high hemocompatibility. The ability to precisely target the therapeutic ability of secretomes gives them a distinct advantage over the use of stem cells.

Many extrinsic factors impact skin aging such as UV exposure, smoking, nutritional deficiencies, and air pollution. Intrinsic effects include hormonal and cellular changes resulting in a loss of functional and regenerative potential. The capillary network of the skin becomes disorganized and elastic fibers denature. Throughout the years, humans have sought to defy the aesthetic effects of aging which can also result in a loss of self-esteem and confidence. It is this motivation that has fueled the billion-dollar skin care market through the years.

Secretomes are a breakthrough in the potential for regeneration of skin. The angiogenic potential of secretomes has shown to protect blood vessels and neovascularization as well as potentially modulate the formation of blood vessels. miRNA is known to promote keratinocyte migration and re-epithelialization of the sin in wound healing demonstrating the potential to rebuild dermal structure. Collagen and elastin synthesis is also shown to be enhanced due to the presence of epidermal growth factors.

These exciting discoveries mean that secretomes can offer a distinct advantage for use in a wide variety of aesthetic and wound repair procedures. Secretomes are available for licensed medical professionals for in-office use. They arrive to your clinic cryogenically-frozen, where the provider simply needs to thaw it out and use it as a topical application, without the need for any bulky equipment.

With no up-front cost and a low unit cost, Exovex is quickly becoming the preferred option for medical aesthetic providers.

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