Have you ever heard about stem cells? Well, these are the master cells in a human body and interestingly, they can be turned into any type of tissue from blood cells to brain cells. The most versatile stem cells come from bone marrow, embryos, and umbilical cord. However, these sources have various limitations.
For instance, extraction from bone marrow can be painful, harvesting can lead to the destruction of embryos and the umbilical cord has limited stem cells.
For this reason, scientists are doing their best to find another source and lucky enough, they have discovered how good a source a placenta can be. But do they really have stem cells?
What is placenta?
Before we answer the question of whether placentas have stem cells or not, it would be wise to understand what they are in the first place. The placenta is simply an organ connecting the developing fetus to the mother’s uterine wall to allow for smooth flow of hormones, gases, and nutrients between the fetus and the mother during pregnancy.
In other words, it is a maternal-fetal organ whose main function is to enhance the release of waste and carbon dioxide from the developing baby and transport nutrients and oxygen from the mother. Placenta has an important role in the transportation of oxygen and blood and therefore, it is rich in blood vessels. After childbirth, the blood remaining in the placenta can be collected and stored for future therapeutic purposes.
So does placenta have Stem cells?
If you’ve been asking yourself whether placentas have stem cells or not, the answer is that they do. Yes, they are there, viable and it is possible to get them out.
Scientists are developing ways to efficiently harvest them from placentas after birth and this has opened up a new cell source. placenta stem cell can be used in the treatment of various chronic blood-related illnesses such as thalassemia, sickle cell disease, and leukemia.
Perinatal cell types found in Placental Stem cells
• The chorionic villi
• Chorionic and amniotic membranes
• Decidua, which is the maternal part of the placenta