1. Used since the early 1900s
Donated amniotic membrane has been used to treat burns, reconstructive surgery grafts, and various other wounds for nearly 100 years. Since this time, it is now also used to treat difficult-to-heal wounds and soft tissue damage.
The membrane is the innermost layer of the placenta consisting of tissue layers which are collected after healthy labor and delivery, if not routinely discarded. The tissue possesses unique healing properties and is rich in collagen and growth factors, two major components of wound healing.
2. High concentration of growth factors
The amniotic membrane contains a high concentration of growth factors and other building blocks such as cytokines and stem cells which are able to enhance and accelerate the healing process as well as help your own cells regenerate damaged tissue.
Collagen serves as the base of all tissue, creating structural integrity. Growth factors stimulate tissue growth while hyaluronic acid acts as a natural lubricant within the joints.
3. Accelerated rate of healing
The number of stem cells available and determine the rate at which soft tissue or cartilage regenerates. The number of cells in our body decreases with age, slowing the natural rate of healing and leaving more time for secondary injuries, inflammation, or chronic pain.
4. Multipotent differentiation
The cells found within the amniotic tissue possess multipotent differentiation properties, meaning they have the ability to turn into a wide variety of cell types. Some studies and clinical trials show that adult stem cells harvested from fat or bone marrow have a lower proliferation and differentiation capacity than those derived from the amniotic membrane. Stem cells deriving from the amniotic membrane tend to sit between the multipotent properties of adult stem cells and the pluripotent properties of embryonic stem cells.
Scientists have more recently been studying the possibility of reprogramming stem cells derived from the amniotic fluid to possess pluripotent properties, meaning the ability to turn into any cell type in the human body. These cells are referred to as induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC).
Stem cells found in the amniotic tissue and fluid are immune-privileged, meaning they will not cause a reaction from the immune system. Some tissue groups are recognized as a foreign antigen and are rejected by the immune system causing inflammation which can either promote cell death or cell regeneration.
The cytokines within the amniotic concentration are natural anti-inflammatory agents that play a major role in cellular communication by directing cells where to go, what to do and how to act. This release of inflammation will also provide immediate pain relief.
Small tissue tears can become inflamed and cause chronic pain if not treated. If scar tissue forms, it could alter and slow the healing process. The amniotic membrane contains anti-adhesion properties which can prevent scarring.
The amniotic membrane is home to a wide variety of molecules, some of which have anti-bacterial properties used to fight infection and protect the fetus from protection before birth. These molecules are known to multiply near the time of delivery and maintain their presence one the membrane has been removed and dehydrated.
9. Readily available
The amniotic membrane is easily extracted during a healthy delivery and donated under the specific consent of the mother. Using amniotic tissue is generally safer for the patient for multiple reasons. First, there is no need to harvest tissue from the patient themselves, which can require a surgical procedure depending on the location. Secondly, amniotic tissue is immune privileged and will not put the patient in risk of infection after being injected into a tissue from which it did not derive.
10. Easy to administer
A concentration of amniotic tissue stem cells is a minimally invasive, non-surgical procedure that is done in-office. Patients can return to low-intensity tasks almost immediately and receive a full recovery within weeks.
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