Here are the Top 12 Reasons why Umbilical Cord Tissue is Beneficial in Regenerative Medicine:

1. NO REJECTION – Remarkably, umbilical cord tissue is immunologically-privileged. This means that when the tissue from a donor is used in another adult, it does not promote a rejection reaction in the recipient.

2. STEM CELLS – Umbilical cord tissue contains an extremely high concentration of stem cells. Stem cells have the capability of transforming into cartilage, tendon, ligament, and basically whatever type of tissue the body needs for healing. The type of stem cells contained in umbilical cord are intermediate between embryonic and adult stem cells.

3. HYALURONIC ACID – All humans contain hyaluronic acid in their joints. It is essentially the “motor oil” of the joint, providing lubrication to help with movement. There are joint treatments available today which contain hyaluronic acid such as “Synvisc” and other viscosupplementation products designed to provide joint pain relief and lubrication. Umbilical cord tissue is rich with hyaluronic acid as merely one component amongst many. This makes it effective for joint pain relief and lubrication with the hyaluronic acid, along with its other qualities for cartilage regeneration.

4. GROWTH FACTORS – Umbilical cord tissue contains a full range of growth factors, which are vital in healing. This may help tissues heal that would normally fall short, including cartilage and disc. These tissues do not have a direct blood supply, so providing umbilical cord tissue directly may enhance the healing potential.

5. ANTI-ADHESION – Umbilical cord tissue provides an adhesion barrier around tissues. This helps prevent scar tissue from forming and may prove to be beneficial around the spinal cord, ligament and tendon repair, implantable devices…etc. This can provide prophylactic (disease prevention) pain relief and also make revision surgeries easier should one become necessary.

6. ANTI-MICROBIAL – umbilical cord tissue is both anti-microbial, and anti-bacterial this makes the incidence of infections is unbelievably low.

7. ANTI-INFLAMMATORY – Umbilical cord tissue has factors that suppress potent pro-inflammatory responses, which may enhance healing response times.

8. SCAFFOLD – Umbilical cord tissue provides a micro-scaffold (a structural element that holds cells or tissues together) for tissue repair and remodeling.

9. READILY AVAILABLE – Umbilical cord tissue for clinical use is harvested from consenting donors undergoing a scheduled C-Section. The placenta and fluid is normally discarded afterwards. Therefore, it is readily available.

10. NO ETHICAL CONCERNS – Ethical concerns with stem cell treatments have revolved around the use of fetal tissue and embryonic stem cells. Thankfully, umbilical cord tissue involves neither.

11. EASE OF ADMINISTRATION – With bone marrow derived stem cells, the doctor needs to harvest the bone marrow by aspiration (withdrawal of fluid), typically from the iliac crest (hip bone). This adds time and discomfort to the procedure. Umbilical cord tissue is simply thawed, diluted, and then injected under sterile conditions. It is a much easier process.

12. BENEFITS – This probably should have been listed number one, but we saved the best for last. Although no large studies are available yet, umbilical cord allograft is showing benefit for all types of the following:

a. Degenerative arthritis of the joints (knee, hip, shoulder…etc.)
b. Degenerative disc disease
c. Soft tissue injury – tendinitis, tendinosis, tendon tears, ligament injury, plantar fasciitis
d. Peripheral neuropathy

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Umbilical cord-derived Wharton’s jelly for regenerative medicine applications

There are numerous growth factors, cytokines, hyaluronic acid, and extracellular vesicles present in the Wharton’s jelly formulation analyzed. The amount of these factors in Wharton’s jelly is higher compared with other biologics and may play a role in reducing inflammation and pain and augment healing of musculoskeletal injuries.

Gupta A, El-Amin SF 3rd, Levy HJ, Sze-Tu R, Ibim SE, Maffulli N. Umbilical cord-derived Wharton’s jelly for regenerative medicine applications. J Orthop Surg Res. 2020 Feb 13;15(1):49. doi: 10.1186/s13018-020-1553-7. PMID: 32054483; PMCID: PMC7017504.