The umbilical cord itself is a rich source of stem cells, where its Wharton’s Jelly holds precious Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs). These stem cells have been found to be very promising as it has beneficial properties that Hematopoietic Stem Cells (HSCs) may have restrictions in. MSCs have the ability to differentiate into bone, heart, nerve, cornea, fat and cartilage cells, and has been used for repairs of these organs. MSCs can also be used to treat GVHD after stem cell transplant. In the lab, it can be used to expand HSCs to make umbilical cord blood stem cells transplant available even to adults. Besides, MSCs also improve engraftment of HSCs when used together.
The bone marrow has been identified as one of the best sources of harvesting stem cells from adults, through Bone Marrow Aspiration (BMA). The BMA process is a low-risk, invasive procedure usually performed on the back of the hip bone. MSCs that reside in the spongy bone are extracted from the bone marrow, where the half-day procedure leaves a very small, negligible scar on the back. The MSCs are then brought back to the laboratory to be processed and expanded..
It has been found that adipose tissue (fat tissue) contains MSCs. These MSCs are ideally harvested during liposuction, where instead of discarding the fat collected, the fat is brought back to the laboratory for MSCs isolation and expansion. Although the adipose-derived MSCs are currently investigated to treat a multitude of diseases, they are particularly suited for cosmetic indications.
Tooth-derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells, also known as dental pulp stem cells, can be found in the pulp tissue within a tooth. Pulp tissues can be retrieved from extracted teeth collected via your arranged wisdom tooth removals via orthodontic surgeries and also from naturally fallen teeth, where they are usually discarded as wastes, to store for future use. It offers simple, safe, and affordable with multiple opportunities to collect stem cells from children and adults when other alternatives are lacking.