The umbilical cord consists of the umbilical vessels (two arteries and one vein) and the Wharton’s jelly that surrounds them. The Wharton’s jelly contains mesenchymal stem cells that under special conditions can be transformed into neural cells, bone cells and chondrocytes. For this reason it is expected that these cells will be used in regenerative medicine in the future.
These cells are proposed for autologous use for the treatment of autoimmune diseases (multiple sclerosis, juvenile arthritis), the regeneration of the myocardium after infarct, the bones after fractures and the therapy of neurodegenerative diseases. Their most important use however is expected to be their co-administration with not completely compatible hematopoetic grafts for the treatment of leukemias and generally malignancies, because they minimize the rejection percentages of the non compatible grafts. The collection of these cells raises even more the percentages of histocompatibility in the family.
Their administration minimizes the time of hospitalization of the multiinjured patients in the intensive care units.