The formation of the placenta during pregnancy is one of the wonders that accompany the emergence of a new life. Thanks to the placenta, the fetus receives all the substances necessary for development, through it the products of its vital activity are excreted, placenta is literally responsible for the livelihood of the little man in the womb.
This organ with unique functions, which forms with the emergence of the fetus, after the baby is born, is rejected by the woman’s body as something unnecessary. Moreover, all biologically active substances – growth factors, hormones, hormone-like substances, vitamins – remain in it at the time of childbirth. In ancient times, people did not know about it, but they guessed that the placenta, which supported intrauterine life, could be useful. It was dried, kept, used to heal wounds and endowed with mythical properties. Modern medicine has a lot of scientific evidence of practical benefits and wide applications of placenta drugs. This is no longer a myth. Placenta preparations are used in medical practice, they have proven effectiveness. One of the most important discoveries is that the placenta contains stem cells. Thanks to the latest technologies of its processing, you can create various drugs that are used for different purposes in different diseases.
The possibilities for placenta use
Extract can be manufactured from the placenta, which is injected, as well as preparations for external use in cosmetology and wound therapy. In addition, it is possible to isolate stem cells from the placenta and store them in a bank of stem cells. Placenta extract and its stem cells can be stored without loss of cell quality and viability only under the cryobank conditions. Not all cryobanks offer this service. Below we will talk about where in Ukraine one can obtain the necessary preparations of the placenta and store them with a guarantee of quality. But first we will tell you where and how the placenta extract and stem cells are applied.
The placenta extract may be different depending on the methods of processing the biological material and the manufacturing of the extract. This also determines the degree of efficacy and safety of the obtained drug. Placenta extract has a wide range of properties:
- immunoregulatory (the extract can both strengthen the body’s immune defense and weaken the excessive immune response, this allows to use the placenta extract in autoimmune and allergic diseases);
- regenerative (contributes to the rapid healing of wounds, including those infected, as well as ulcers, the restoration of damaged nerve endings);
- neuroprotective (this opens up prospects for the use of placental extract in the treatment and rehabilitation of patients with neurological diseases and injuries);
- painkilling and anti-inflammatory (it prevents the formation of inflammatory mediators – prostaglandins, that is, it has the same mechanism of action as most anesthetics and anti-inflammatory drugs);
- antitumor (this action is characteristic of an extract of the placenta despite its powerful regenerative features that could enhance the growth of tumors; in fact, the preparation of the placenta reduces the malignant characteristics of the cells);
- normalize hormonal function in women (given to this it is used for the treatment of menopausal disorders, gestosis of pregnant women, the treatment of hormonal disorders in females).
Indications for the use of placental extract:
- chronic fatigue syndrome, asthenic syndrome
- immunodeficiency, increased susceptibility of the body to infections
- metabolic disorders
- rehabilitation after surgery, trauma, infection, chemotherapy
- diseases of the nervous system (neuroinfection, encephalopathy, polyneuritis)
- chronic diseases of the gastrointestinal tract
- fertility decline, sexual dysfunction
- in the programs of rejuvenation of the body (anti-age therapy)
Placenta stem cells have been studied in different countries over the past few years, during this period of time more than 40 clinical trials on their clinical application in the treatment of various diseases have been registered:
- diabetes mellitus
- aplastic anemia,
- ankylosing spondyloarthrosis,
- myelodysplastic syndrome,
- infertility treatment programs
Besides, placental stem cells along with cord blood stem cells are used in the treatment of blood cancer and congenital metabolic disorders.
From stem cells of the placenta, it is possible to grow replacement tissues, which are used in orthopedics for surgery on the treatment of osteoarthritis, for tendon injuries, to stimulate the healing of fractures.
The stem cells of the placenta allow to grow myocardiocytes (myocardial cells), which are used in the treatment of ischemic heart disease, myocardial infarction, cardiomyopathy, and are also used in the treatment of children with heart defects.
In Parkinson’s disease, stem cells of the placenta may take over the functions of dopamine-producing cells, they are also used in the treatment of strokes.
Placental stem cells in combination with extract and placental tissue are successfully used in the treatment of trophic ulcers of the lower extremities (in particular, in type 2 diabetes mellitus), diabetic peripheral neuropathy and peripheral lesions of arteries.
In the treatment of autoimmune diseases, placental stem cells are able to inhibit autoimmune inflammation and are used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, systemic sclerosis, lupus erythematosus, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, ankylosing spondylitis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, multiple sclerosis and other pathologies.
Easy to collect, hard to preserve
The process of placenta collection is not particularly difficult: after the birth of a child, the placenta is rejected, the midwife or obstetrician-gynecologist, who is present at birth, collects it into a sterile container. The rules for collecting this biological material are known to all who take birth, they are described in the relevant order of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, and do not require special skills. But the accuracy of all further actions and quality assurance of the preparations obtained depend on the ctyobank, to whom the processing and storage of the placenta is entrusted.
- Delivery of the placenta and other biological materials after childbirth to the laboratory. The stem cell bank that undertakes this obligation must deliver a valuable cargo in a thermal container from any Ukrainian city in time to where all the procedures will be carried out.
- Processing of the placenta. If almost any stem cell bank can organize a logistics service, only a few of them can process the placenta, isolate the necessary cells from it and manufacture high quality drugs. Some banks have been engaged in the processing of the placenta just during a few years and usually can offer only extracts that are applicable for external use in cosmetology. In Ukraine, only the Cryobank of the Institute of Cell Therapy owns patents for placenta cryoconservation technology and has the results of preclinical and clinical studies on the use of placental preparations – extract and stem cells. Institute of Cell Therapy is the only ISO-accredited cryobank in Ukraine.
Storage of placental extract and stem cells of the placenta. We have already written that the Cryobank of the Institute of Cell Therapy has developed a unique cryopreservation technique that meets international standards, which allows you to keep frozen stem cells as viable as possible. This technique allows to preserve the biologically active substances of the placenta, which usually lose their properties in the course of the other types of storage. In addition, Cryobank’s own clinical and molecular diagnostic laboratories make it possible to carefully monitor the purity and quality of placental preparations, among all Ukrainian banks that preserve stem cells, only Cryobank of the Institute of Cell Therapy has its own PCR laboratory.
Manufacturing of placenta preparations. Placenta extract, made and stored using methods and technologies that are available only in the Cryobank of the Institute of Cell Therapy, has no analogues in Ukraine. It is suitable for intravenous use and is universal, that is, its application does not require immune matching.
The placenta is an amazing gift of nature, which can be collected and stored only once, immediately after the birth of a child. Its value is not only in the fact that from the placenta different drugs can be can produced, applicable in different situations. The use of these drugs does not require immune compatibility. This means that they can be used not only for the child, whom this placenta provided with everything necessary during the period of intrauterine development, but also for their brothers, sisters, parents, relatives.