As a result of the contact with the fetus in the development stage, the amniotic fluid is normally considered to be one of the best tools for diagnostics when determining the status of the fetus. Other than that however, the amniotic fluid also has a cellular population that can be ethically harvested and cultured, to help with different aspects of human growth.
Through recurrent research, there are so many types of cells that have since been discovered in the amniotic fluid, cells which are being studied and tested for any potential use when it comes to cell therapy. The combination of cell types seen in amniotic fluid has made its popularity grow immensely, specifically for regenerative purposes in orthopedics, pain management, wound care, ophthalmology and other fields.
The following are the top 5 reasons why amniotic fluid is important for regenerative medicine:
Presence of mesenchyal stem cells
The mesenchymal stem cells are basically pluripotent cells, meaning that they are able to evolve into a variety of tissues. As a result of this versatility, these cells can therefore be used to help come up with treatment and remedies for different medical conditions.
As a matter of fact, recent research has revealed how these stem cells have come in handy in the regeneration of body organs and tissues such as the liver, heart, cartilage, skin and bones. Amniotic fluid does NOT contain embryonic cells, which means they avoid any of the ethical issues seen with fetal tissue. The fetus is not touched or harmed in any way, as the fluid is obtained after a scheduled c-section.
No risk of rejection
One of the main reasons why the use of amniotic fluid in stem cell research and clinical treatment is recommended is because of the fact that there is no risk of rejection. When they are harvested from a baby and kept for later use, they can be put into use later on in life when the need arises. The tissue is immunologically privileged, meaning it can be injected into another human without rejection.
Not only is the use of amniotic stem cells a good possibility for you in the future, but close family members might also be able to benefit from this. Should they need help during organ transplants, your immediate family members can actually get this from your amniotic stem cells, which means that the cost of medical expenses to your family will be lower than if you had to seek organ donors.
No Need for Harvesting
When bone marrow or adipose derived stem cells are used, the physician needs to harvest that tissue from the patient. This involves a potentially painful procedure, with incisions and additional bleeding. Not so with amniotic fluid regenerative medicine therapy.
It comes ready to use, which makes the procedure shorter, less painful and just as effective.
People who suffer different kinds of joint pain have in the past had to rely on steroid injections, and eventually go on to a joint replacement. Steroid injections do not actually change the course of the disease, but merely provide a band-aid for pain relief. With amniotic stem cell therapy, the arthritis can be reversed somewhat, providing pain relief and increased function.
Tendon and ligament injuries can be healed without surgery a lot of the time, helping athletes avoid surgery and get back to sports quickly.