Stem cells for life
We believe in the power of stem cells. Since 2000, Smart Cells has been committed to storing babies’ stem cells, helping thousands of parents safeguard their children’s futures.
We think everyone should have the opportunity to save their stem cells. Through our partnership with the Bioscience Institute, San Marino, we are proud to now offer adults the chance to store their stem cells for life.
Stem cells, in a nutshell
Adipose-derived Stem Cells (ADSCS)
Stem cells are uniquely special, and totally different from other kinds of cells. What makes them particularly remarkable is how they start life unspecialised and undifferentiated. Then, when placed in the correct environment, they multiply and transform into different types of cells that carry out specific functions within the body.
In babies, stem cells are collected from the umbilical cord and cord tissue. However, one of the richest sources in adults is found in the adipose tissue (subcutaneous fat) that lies beneath the skin (Mizuno 2009). These are called adipose-derived stem cells, or ADSCs.
Using your ADSCS
Adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) are mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) precursors, which can be used to treat a number of diseases (Frese 2016, Dai 2016). These cells are able to differentiate into various cell types including: muscle, cartilage, bones and nerves (Mizuno 2009). And while MSCs can be sourced from bone marrow, dental pulp and the skin’s dermis layer (Ullah 2015), there is a much richer source in adipose tissue – which is why we extract them from there (Mizuno 2009, Yang 2015).
Another unique benefit of using adult ADSCs is that they are exclusively isolated from your own fat tissue. So like with all MSCs, you can be sure of absolute compatibility – removing any concern about your body rejecting the sample.
We will assist you with arranging an appointment for the fat harvesting procedure. The whole clinical appointment lasts between 45 minutes and one hour. You’ll first receive a local anaesthetic. The physician will then spend approximately 15 minutes taking a small amount of fat (lipoaspirate) – between 20 to 40ml. Up to 30 days before this and on the day of lipoaspiration, we will arrange for a phlebotomist to take a blood sample in order to check your suitability*.
Your sample will be packaged in a specially designed temperature controlled kit and couriered to our partner laboratory, the Bioscience Institute in San Marino, who will extract and isolate your ADSCs for storage. This extraction step is extremely important to ensure a high quality and concentrated sample of stem cells as ADSCs make up only 0.05-3% of the original sample. This method allows for your sample to be expanded up to several times the original number of cells collected.
* We check for HIV, hepatitis B/C, syphilis, cytomegalovirus and Human Lymphotropic Virus Types I and II.
The Procurement of adipose tissue, mandatory laboratory tests of donor blood samples, and the export of samples to the Bioscience Institute in San Marino are activities carried out in the UK under a license issued by the Human Tissue Authority (HTA) reference no. 22522. These activities must meet the requirements of EU Tissues and Cells Directives (2004/23/EC) and the UK Human Tissue (Quality and Safety for Human Application) Regulations 2007. The processing of adipose tissue by the Bioscience Institute, San Marino, is not subject to the same regulatory framework and has not been reviewed by the HTA to ensure that it results in the banking of stem cells and achieves equivalent standards of quality and safety to those set out by UK legislation. It is however fully licensed and regulated by the Republic of San Marino (License No. 791/2011) Authority for Authorisation, Accreditation and Quality of Health Service, Social & Health and Social & Education. Should you wish to use your sample, Smart Cells Plus will put you in touch with our colleagues at the Bioscience Institute in San Marino, who are licensed by the Republic of San Marino rather than any EU or UK regulatory body. It is therefore likely that you would undergo treatment outside the EU.
Adipose-derived Stem Cell Collection and Storage
01. Booking fee£495
02. Final balance£1995 (including first year of storage)