Amniocentesis - Amniocentesis and Stem Cells

Amniocentesis and Stem Cells

Recent studies have discovered that amniotic fluid can be a rich source of multipotent mesenchymal, hematopoietic, neural, epithelial, and endothelial stem cells.

A potential benefit of using amniotic stem cells over those obtained from embryos is that they side-step ethical concerns among pro-life activists by obtaining pluripotent lines of undifferentiated cells without harm to a fetus or destruction of an embryo. These stem cells would also, if used to treat the same individual they came from, sidestep the donor/recipient issue which has so far stymied all attempts to use donor-derived stem cells in therapies.

Artificial heart valves, working tracheas, as well as muscle, fat, bone, heart, neural and liver cells have all been engineered through use of amniotic stem cells. Tissues obtained from amniotic cell lines show promise for patients suffering from congenital diseases/malformations of the heart, liver, lungs, kidneys, and cerebral tissue.

The first amniotic stem cells bank in US is active in Boston, Massachusetts.

Read more about this topic:  Amniocentesis

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