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Systematic Review Investigates Different Harvest Sites and Finds Umbilical Cord Tissue Offers Greatest Number of Harvestable Mesenchymal Cells

In the last few years, the techniques available to harvest and isolate human mesenchymal stem cells for regenerative medicine has increased. While the potential therapeutic applications for stem cells continue to develop, interest in finding accurate and up to date data on the variations noted in yields becomes more valuable.

Looking at both the harvest sites and the methods used for harvest, data on cell yields provides much-needed insight into the number of mesenchymal stem cells found in different sources of tissue. Researchers can then consider primary and alternative tissue types for harvest and where they can be applied as treatment.

Data on Harvest Sites

A recent study found that cells harvested from umbilical cord tissue offer the greatest numbers of vital Mesenchymal Cells. The findings were based on a selection of articles searched on PubMed and Medline databases relating to harvesting, isolating, and quantifying human mesenchymal stem cells. The study analyzed data categorized by tissue site and found the level of human mesenchymal cells in tissue were noticeably varied based not only on the tissue site, but also the harvest method used.

Yields for Harvest Sites

Data showed the following yield results:

  • Adipose tissue ranged from 4,737 cells/mL of tissue to 1,550,000 cells/mL of tissue
  • Bone marrow ranged from 1 to 30 cells/mL to 317,400 cells/mL
  • Umbilical cord tissue ranged from 10,000 cells/mL to 4,700,000 cells/cm of umbilical cord

The study also considered harvest levels from secondary tissue sites which included placental tissue and synovium which yielded from 1,000 cells/mL to 30,000 cells/mL Adipose and bone marrow tissue is harvested from the patient, while umbilical cord tissue uses Wharton’s Jelly taken at the time of birth from healthy donors. The process does not pose a risk to the mother or baby.

Autologous versus Allogenic

Data on Harvest SitesLooking at further variations, concentrations were measured for both autologous and allogeneic mesenchymal stem cells. Wharton’s Jelly tissue from umbilical cords has the highest concentration of allogeneic mesenchymal cells, while adipose tissue has a higher concentration of autologous mesenchymal stem cells per milliliter of tissue. It is important to note that allogeneic mesenchymal cells are often preferred as they present less risk to the patient since the harvesting technique does not require invasive measures. As well, autologous cells tend to be less effective when taken from older patients as their potency has slowed, and in some cases, bone marrow or adipose tissue do not have the levels of viable MSCs to support treatment. While larger mesenchymal cell yields are important, it is also important to note that umbilical cords not only offer higher levels of mesenchymal cells, but also a higher concentration of allogeneic cells.

Wharton’s Jelly-sourced mesenchymal cells are used to treat a long list of health issues. If you are considering adding regenerative medicine to your clinic’s services, click here to learn about regenerative medicine training.


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David Singer Enterprises is a leading consulting firm for regenerative medicine. Founded by Dr. David Singer, who had the fastest growing practice in the world during the 80's. While he was achieving major success, he felt that there was more that he could do to help heal people in this world. So he decided to start sharing his secrets to success with the world. Your success is our success!