About Stem Cells

Stem cells

Stem cell therapy, in combination with growth factors and antioxidants, has been shown, in animal and/ or human trials, to be a therapeutic option for a number of diseases including but not limited to:

  • Diabetes
  • Orthopedic injuries and chronic conditions
  • Wounds
  • Spinal cord injuries and spinal stenosis
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Some neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis

Stem cell therapy improves cell regeneration and aids in tissue healing and repair.

What are Stem Cells?

Stem cells are a type of undifferentiated cell that have the ability to differentiate, or change, into specific and specialized cell types.

Stem cells can be guided into becoming a specific type of cell allowing physicians trained in the field of regenerative medicine to use stem cells to repair diseased or damage tissue.

Stem cells are attracted to the site of injury and then change into the type of cell that is needed to repair or heal the damaged tissue.

What are the Differences Between the Different Types of Stem Cells?

At the Stem Cells Transplant Institute in Costa Rica we offer

  1. Adult mesenchymal stem cells cultured and expanded from human umbilical cord tissue
  2. Adults mesenchymal stem cells derived from human umbilical cord blood
  3. Autologous mesenchymal stem cells derived from adipose tissue
  4. Autologous mesenchymal stem cells derived from bone marrow

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are ideal for treating many kinds of injuries and disease, and can be derived from many different kinds of tissue including; bone marrow, adipose tissue, cord blood and cord tissue.

Our clinic has access to four sources of adult mesenchymal stem cells and has the equipment to culture and expand cells, increasing the number of viable mesenchymal stem cells. This allows our physicians to select the optimal treatment for each individual patient based on his or her disease, symptoms and individual needs.

Bone marrow derived MSCs (BMSC) can be extracted from a patient or a donor by aspiration, typically from the iliac crest or sternum. Bone marrow stem cells are most commonly used in bone marrow transplants in patients diagnosed with leukemia or certain types of hematopoietic disease. Studies have shown bone marrow derived stem cells to be an effective treatment for some chronic or degenerative disorders. The process for extracting MSCs from bone marrow can be painful but we make every effort to reduce any possible pain to the patient.

Adipose derived MSCs (AMSC) are surgically extracted from a patient’s own fat tissue, using liposuction. Adipose tissue is easily accessible and provides an abundant rich source of multipotent adult stem cells. These type of stem cells are quickly and easily collected, additionally, only a small amount of adipose tissue is needed. The process for collecting adipose derived stem cells is less invasive, safer, less painful and faster than collecting MSCs from bone marrow.

Umbilical cord derived MSCs (HUCT-MSC) Based on clinical research, we use umbilical cord stem cells (UCMSCs) for the treatment of certain conditions such as neurodegenerative, autoimmune, and inflammatory diseases. We offer two types of umbilical cord derived mesenchymal stem cells:

  1. Human umbilical cord tissue is a rich source of mesenchymal stem cells and each vial contains more than 120 million viable mesenchymal stem cells. It is an extensive process requiring the stem cells to be derived, cultured, expanded and tested over three weeks prior to use at the Stem Cells Transplant Institute. These cells are able to repair tissue, modulate the immune system and reduce inflammation and are very effective for treating neurodegenerative and immune mediated disease.
  2. Cord blood. We offer clinical trial grade stem cell concentrate from umbilical cord blood with 33 million nucleated stem cells with 1 million mesenchymal stem cells. These cells support tissue regeneration and revascularization and are very effective for treating age-related, degenerative diseases such as osteoarthritis and erectile dysfunction.


UCMSCs are derived from umbilical cord donations after informed consent has been given by the parent or parents and after the baby has been delivered. The procedure is safe and painless for both the child and mother.

How Does Stem Cell Therapy Work?

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) naturally repair injured or diseased tissue, however, a person suffering from a severe injury or degenerative disease, may not have sufficient quantities of stem cells, or may not be able to release the stem cells quickly enough to repair the damaged tissue.

Research has shown mesenchymal stem cells have the ability to regenerate damaged or injured tissue, modulate the immune system, decrease pro-inflammatory mediators, release growth factors, cytokines and chemokines that aid healing and in the formation of new blood vessels while suppressing inflammation.

Mesenchymal stem cells have the ability to:

  • Promote self-healing
  • Have potent anti-inflammatory capabilities
  • Modulate abnormal immune system responses
  • Prevent additional premature cell and tissue damage
  • Reduce scarring
  • Stimulate new blood vessel growth improving blood flow

The History of Stem Cell Therapy in Costa Rica

Due to provision in legislation passed in 2014, the Costa Rican Secretary of Health considered stem cell therapy/regenerative medicine illegal because the bill failed to include any direction around stem cell therapy using adult stem cells.

In 2014, clinics in Costa Rica that were offering stem cell therapy were required to close.

New legislation passed in 2016, Regulation No. 39986 provided authorization and guidance for regenerative therapy using adult stem cells.

Any party that would like to perform stem cell therapy in Costa Rica, must submit an application to the local Health Controller.

The clinic must meet the following formal requirements:

  • Evidence that the therapy has completed preclinical studies that, as in the case of medications, demonstrate that they are effective and safe for use in clinical practice
  • The complete characterization of the cell types that will be transplanted and their characteristics, cellular processing and production
  • The description of the cells and how they will be administered, including assistive drugs, agents, and surgical procedures
  • A clinical follow-up plan and data records to ensure that the cellular therapy is effective and has no adverse effects and
  • Credentials substantiating training in stem cell therapy for the staff who will carry out the procedure.

The Stem Cells Transplant Institute started the legal process immediately following the change in legislation and was approved to open in 2017.

In the United States and other parts of the world, stem cell therapy is available only to the few patients that have access to a clinical trial.

In the United States, the FDA has not approved any stem-cell based products for use other than for certain blood disorders.

Stem cell treatments are offered by various medical doctors, doctors of osteopathic medicine and even some chiropractors. Unfortunately, many clinics in the United States, and across the globe are not adequately trained, which can lead to poor results and a waste of money.

When choosing a physician in the United States or abroad, it is critical to ensure that he or she has the proper training and certification.

The physicians at the Stem Cells Transplant Institute are board certified by the American Academy of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine and members of the International Society for Stem Cell Application.

The Stem Cells Transplant Institute provides government approved stem cell therapy to patients looking for alternative treatment options.