Currently there are numerous ways in which stem cells are being administered.
When injected intravenously a majority of the stem cells are trapped in the lungs.
When treating cartilage defects, does it matter how the cells are injected?
Koga et al.,clearly demonstrated that it does matter. He injected cells in a variety of ways including into the joint vs directly into the cartilage defect. Cells placed directly into the cartilage defect resulted in more than 60% of the stem cells adhering to the area of damage and significant cartilage growth at 24 weeks.
A Colorado practice utilizes intermittent x-ray to inject autologous mesenchymal stem cells directly into areas of cartilage damage. This technique avoids the risks and time associated with traditional surgical approaches. MRI images before and after stem cell therapy tell the story.