Below are some frequently asked questions relating to VetCell, its products and this website. Click on the question to view the answer.
Once your vet has assessed your horse and established that stem cell therapy is the best way to treat the injury he/she will perform a bone marrow aspiration. This is done under standing sedation and involves taking a sample of bone marrow from the horse’s sternum using a specially designed needle. This sample is then sent off to VetCell’s laboratory in Edinburgh (a company called Biobest). VetCell, in conjunction with Biobest, are the only company authorised by the VMD to culture equine stem cells in the UK. The lab separate out the stem cells from the bone marrow sample and culture them to get them to grow in number. Once enough cells have grown (usually around 10 million although more are sometimes needed for larger injuries) they are suspended in bone marrow supernatant – a technique patented by VetCell. The cells are then returned to the vet so that they can be implanted into the site of the injury, using an ultrasound scanner for guidance. This is done using a local anaesthetic and under standing sedation. The horse then spends a day or two at the veterinary hospital before returning home to begin the careful rehabilitation process. For details of the controlled exercise programmes recommended by VetCell click here and scroll to the bottom of the page. These exercise programmes are a guideline only and your vet may need to adjust them to suit your horse and the nature of the injury.
We have done extensive research into the StemRegen stem cell therapy that we offer and, as a result, we are confident that our stem cell therapy is the best way to treat an overstrain of the superficial digital flexor tendon. For more details click here.
VetCell advise very strongly against the use of shock wave therapy after stem cell implantation. It will severely damage the stem cells that you have implanted and will negate the positive effect they would otherwise have. Please do not use shock wave therapy after VetCell's StemRegen treatment!
Controversial stem cell therapies are those that involve embryonic stem cells. VetCell's StemRegen stem cell therapy does NOT use embryonic stem cells. Our technique involves taking bone marrow from the horse needing treatment, splitting out the stem cells and culturing them in the lab. This means the stem cells are autologous (belonging to the animal that they are going to be implanted into) and therefore there are no embryos involved in any stage of the process.
It has been shown that stem cells cultured from bone marrow have several advantages over adipose derived cells:
1. There are higher numbers of stem cells found in bone marrow, meaning extraction is more likely to be successful and culture over the same time period will result in larger numbers of cells. Our experience has shown that a minimum of 10 million cells is necessary for effective treatment.
2. Adipose derived stem cells have an innate bias and are more likely to become adipose cells than any other kind of tissue (Im, G.I. et al. (2005); Park, J. et al. (2006). VetCell’s research includes post-mortems to show that tendons are more normalised than untreated tendons, with a proper crimp pattern and significant tenocyte regeneration.
3. Harvest of adipose (due to the large amount required to acquire sufficient stem cells) is a highly invasive procedure resulting in high donor site morbidity. Not only is this scarring detrimental for resale of high value horses but can be avoided completely in a bone marrow harvest from the sternum or tuba coxa.
4. Lastly, there is no peer reviewed literature available to show the effectiveness of adipose derived stem cells. VetCell customers benefit from the knowledge of using an evidence-based treatment.
Yes. E-PET can be frozen if you have too much to put into the injury in one go. It can then be thawed and used in the same injury at a later date or in another injury in the same horse. It must be frozen within two hours of harvesting and then used within one month. It must be used as soon as it's thawed because otherwise the platelets will lyse (break open). The E-PET concentrate must NOT be used in another horse.
No. The E-PET system is designed to be used only once and only to produce E-PET concentrate for one horse. It must not be used to treat more than one horse as the system is autologous. If you use E-PET on a regular basis there are discounts for buying more than one at a time and for buying online. Click here for more details.
VetCell is owned by Quy Bioscience Ltd – a company formed in April 2010 with the intention of purchasing VetCell and bringing the stem cell technology for tendon injuries into the human domain. MedCell is the human side of Quy Bioscience Ltd and is soon to be starting named patient trials, using stem cell therapy to treat human tendon injuries.
Quy Bioscience bought the trading name VetCell, the patents for the technology and the business itself. The laboratory, veterinary research expertise and the products all remain the same as before, we are just working with a new office team and from new premises. We have exciting plans for the future of VetCell, many of which are designed to be of huge benefit to our customers so we look forward to working with you. If you have any questions regarding any of this please do Contact Us.
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