What is Perinatal Tissue?
Perinatal tissue sources include: Amniotic Membrane, Amniotic Fluid, Umbilical Cord Tissue, and Umbilical Cord Blood. The Amniotic Membrane is a multilayer tissue forming the innermost border of the amniotic sac that surrounds the developing fetus. It is comprised of 5 layers, from the inside out: a single layer of epithelial cells, a thick basement membrane, a compact layer, a fibroblast layer, and a spongy layer that abuts the surrounding chorion.
Amniotic Membrane shares its cellular origin with the fetus, and together they grow in parallel throughout the pregnancy. The AM provides an immuno-privileged barrier between the mother’s immune system and the developing child. Without this barrier, the mother’s body would reject the baby as a foreign body.
Why is Amniotic Fluid and Membrane Special?
Regenerative healing that enhances the body’s recovery from injury or disease has been pursued as far back as the early 20th century. In the years since, it has come to be understood that the human fetus is capable of regenerative and scarless healing.
If correctly processed, perinatal tissue has been shown to retain these regenerative properties and can effectively be applied to unrelated hosts through allografts, or human-to-human tissue transfers.
Regenerative therapies that have produced effective results using perinatal tissue allografts include the closing of chronic and non-healing wounds including diabetic foot ulcers and venous leg ulcers, orthopedic pathologies including osteoarthritis and other joint-related issues, and ophthalmologic uses including, but not limited to, the treatment of dry eye and corneal abrasions.
Amniotic Membrane has also been shown to be effective in the prevention of post-surgical scarring. A multitude of growth factors are responsible for the promotion of epithelialization and the included hyaluronic acid inhibits the generation of excessive fibrosis and scars.
Why is Umbilical Cord Special?
Umbilical cord tissue consists of blood vessels and Wharton’s Jelly, a gelatinous substance that insulates and protects the umbilical cord. Wharton's jelly contains generous amounts of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs).
MSCs can also be found in bone marrow, adipose tissue and cord blood; however, evidence suggests that cells taken from umbilical cord tissue have the ability to grow more rapidly than those from other sources. It's this shorter reproduction period that makes cord tissue such an attractive option in the treatment of many conditions, versus cells derived from blood or marrow.
Key Components Present In Perinatal Tissue
Extracellular Matrix (ECM)
The ECM contains substantial levels of collagen, elastin, fibronectin and laminin, and provides structural and biochemical support to surrounding cells as well
Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs)
Precursor cells for tissue restoration with an exemplary capacity for proliferation and differentiation. Perinatal derived MSCs in particular have a much faster proliferation time than those derived from adipose tissue
Its main function is to retain water and keep the tissue moist and well lubricated. In damaged tissue it helps regulate inflammation levels and signals the body to build more blood vessels in the affected area
Intercellular Messengers (Exosomes)
mRNA and miRNA are short sets of instructions that aid in the efficiency of differentiating cells by transmitting and amplifying anti-inflammatory and pro-regenerative signaling pathways
Stimulate cellular growth, proliferation, healing, and differentiation of healthy precursor cells
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