Looking far-sightedly, our strategy is to create the human-material-based organs that medicine would urgently need today. Isolated from the human placenta – blood vessel system included (for example, as donor kidney). What else?
The human placenta is unique among all our organs. It is the only gate between the mother and the fetus which allows a selective mass transfer. It supplies the embryo with nutrients and oxygen throughout the entire pregnancy. The placenta removes waste products, performs immunological functions, kidney functions, digestive functions (all-in-one!).
Every healthy human placenta contains over 300 km of blood vessels. Hence, our placenta has tremendous bioactive potential – to form new blood vessels in potential artificial organs for instance! This is a key aspect of this story as well, as organoids as large as mm³ already need an intact blood vessel system to allow cells survival. Finally, researchers want to construct organs in “relevant sizes” – for transplantation purposes.
It’s an organ largely composed of fetal elements, and likely to be the most easily accessible raw material of human tissue without causing additional harm to donors such as donor site morbidity. Indeed, human placenta is still declared as a medical waste product on the one hand – and a high rate of positive mothers´ consent for placental donation on the other hand as well. Placenta tissue is reported to have very good antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antiscarring properties. Many human placenta-extracted substrates, have been successfully used for at least decades as a topical or injectable agent in clinical approaches related to wound healing, burn injuries, post-surgical dressings or bedsores. In addition, allogenic transplantation of the human amnion (hAM) for clinical applications has already been successfully performed for over 100 years. Nowadays, it is also used for ophthalmology, wound healing and regenerative medicine purposes. In all these clinical studies, applications of placenta components have been proven to be safe to patients (see also www.clinicaltrials.gov).
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