The Equine Medical Center's Regenerative Medicine Service offers a variety of regenerative therapies that harness the power of the body's own cells and proteins to promote healing by regenerating tissue after trauma. Tissues that can benefit from regenerative therapies include tendon, ligament, and cartilage.
To treat our equine patients, as well as horses and dogs in the care of veterinarians in the region, we use a range of techniques:
- Extracting stem cells from bone marrow to regrow tissue
- Injecting concentrated levels of platelets from a patient’s blood to start the healing process
- Performing surgery to stimulate the body’s own ability to regenerate
PRP, or platelet rich plasma, is a blood product prepared by concentrating the patient’s platelets in plasma while removing other cells. Therapeutic PRP injections have been shown to enhance and accelerate the body's own healing mechanism for numerous types of injuries, including ligament injuries.
Platelets circulate in blood and are responsible for initiating the clotting process and healing following injury. Platelets become “activated” when exposed to a wound, which causes them to release substances called growth factors that begin and sustain healing. These growth factors are powerful proteins that recruit healing cells and new blood vessels to sites of injury, and allow the cells to heal the injury.
IRAP™ II therapy was developed to counteract the inflammatory protein, interleukin-1, which is produced at high levels in inflamed or diseased joints. We offer IRAPTM II for equine patients with joint disease, osteoarthritis, or synovitis.
The procedure involves sterile removal of approximately 50 ml of blood that is then processed overnight and separated into several samples for multiple injections over a given time span. This processed serum contains beneficial growth factors, as well as a protein that inhibits interleukin-1, namely, Interleukin-1 Receptor Antagonist Protein (IRAP).
ACS brings together the benefits of PRP and IRAP into one therapy. Through our proprietary protocol and formula, we concentrate growth factors, anti-inflammatory factors, and nutrients.
The procedure involves sterile removal of approximately 500 ml of blood that is then processed overnight and separated into several samples for multiple injections over a given time span.
The use of the body’s own stem cells is a promising therapy for tendon, ligament, and soft tissue injuries. Cells can be isolated from bone marrow, adipose tissue, and tendon tissue, and then grown to adequate quantities in our laboratory. Enough cells can be grown so that a surplus can be saved for future use. These cells possess the ability to multiply and give rise to the specific type of tissue that is damaged, thus allowing for accelerated and natural healing to occur. They also inhibit inflammation and recruit other stem cells into the lesion.
Stem cells and progenitor cells are extraordinary because they can grow and divide many times, while other cells in the body that have become functionally specialized cannot. Stem cells are also remarkable because they are able to form multiple types of tissue, for example cartilage, bone, or tendon, through a process of specialization called differentiation.
- Call 703-771-6800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment or to request more information.
- Clients can schedule an appointment with our service directly or by referral through their primary care veterinarian.
- Veterinarians can procure cells, PRP, ACS, and IRAP therapy for both horses and dogs.
Meet our Director
Jennifer Barrett, DVM, PhD
Director, Regenerative Medicine Service
Theodora Ayer Randolph Professor of Equine Surgery
In addition to her work at the Equine Medical Center, Dr. Barrett serves on the board of directors of the North American Regenerative Medicine Association. She is motivated by a sincere love of animals to push the envelope of regenerative therapies, and her vision is to make the most current validated regenerative medicine treatments available to both equines and canines at a reasonable cost.
Laboratory Specialist, Regenerative Medicine Service
Tricia received a bachelor's degree in animal and poultry science in 2014 from Virginia Tech and completed an M.S. in equine exercise physiology/equine muscle stem cell biology through Virginia Tech. Her passion for and background in thoroughbred horse racing led her to pursue a career in regenerative medicine at the Equine Medical Center. Tricia is motivated to help injured thoroughbred racehorses heal and achieve a chance at a second career.