What are stem cells?
Stem cells are primary, non-specialised cells that have enormous reproductive potential and the ability to transform into specialised cells. Thanks to these properties, they are used in medicine to restore damaged cells.
Where can stem cells be found?
Stem cells are found in various parts of the body (including the umbilical cord blood, the umbilical cord itself and the placenta). The special feature of these stem cells is that they are young and free from environmental influences and thus have a high regenerative capacity. They can only be harvested and stored during birth.
- The umbilical cord is rich in two different types of stem cells, which can be used to treat different diseases due to their unique properties.
- Hematopoietic stem cells from the umbilical cord blood: They are similar to stem cells from bone marrow and produce all cells of the blood and immune system. Currently, more than 80 diseases are treated with them.
- Mesenchymal stem cells from the umbilical cord tissue: These can differentiate into cartilage, bone, muscle and other tissues. Under specific circumstances, these cells can be used for a joint transplantation with cells from the umbilical cord blood or bone marrow.
- Both types of stem cells are currently being investigated in dozens of clinical trials for the treatment of diseases such as type 1 diabetes, cerebral palsy, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.