Stem cells found in the placenta and unbilical cord are now being used for stem cell research.
Stem cells are fundamentally blank (or undisturbed) cells which are theoretically capable of growing into any cell, tissue or organ in the body. These cells offer tremendous hope for future health research, because they may one day hold the key to resolutions and solutions to many disorders, diseases and illness, such as cancer, parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injuries, diabets and many more.
How do they extract placental stem cells?
Stem cells are harvested from a placenta after the child has been born and the placenta delivered as per a normal delivery. The placenta is inspected for any disease or evidence of problems to the baby during the birth (as per normal) and then instead of throwing the placenta away, the placenta stem cells from the placenta are extracted and used for research or medical therapies.
There are many more stem cells found in placenta than in an unbilical cord.
How do they extract the stem cells from an unbilical cord?
As with the placenta, the physician or midwife waits until the placenta is naturally delivered and then extracts the blood from the unbilical cord.