Umbilical Cord Tissue Mesenchymal Stem Cells: Characterization and Clinical Applications
David T. Harris.
Umbilical cord tissue (CT) can provide a virtually unlimited source of multipotent mesenchymal stem cells
(MSC) that can potentially be used in a variety of regenerative medicine and tissue engineering applications. Cord tissue
segments can be frozen and preserved in liquid nitrogen dewars for prolonged periods of time, having been frozen in time
at the peak of biological activity. CT stem cells are capable of giving rise to various mesenchymal and non-mesenchymal
cell lineages including bone, cartilage, fat and neurons. Thus, CT stem cells are candidates to develop stem cell-based
therapies for a wide variety of diseases including cardiovascular, ophthalmic, orthopedic and neurological applications.
CT is currently being used in several regenerative medicine clinical studies, examples of which include treatment of graftversus-
host disease and non-healing bone fractures. CT represents an additional source of stem cells that have both immediate
and future applications for the individual donor.
Keywords: Cord tissue, mesenchymal stem cells, regenerative medicine, stem cells, tissue engineering.
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