Wharton’s jelly is a mucous tissue within the umbilical cord that protects and insulates blood cells made from mucopolysaccharides such as hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate. With informed consent, Wharton’s jelly is obtained after normal vaginal delivery where they can be effectively isolated. They contain macrophages and fibroblasts, but among connective tissues, it is unique in containing mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). The MSC within Wharton’s jelly consist of functional myofibroblasts that can be isolated with minimal manipulation of the tissue, easily preserving their natural anti-inflammatory and pro-regenerative ability without complication or deterioration.
It’s useful application in cell-based cartilage repair procedures have been increasingly wide-spread in recent years and show promising results in the treatment of cartilage lesions, specifically the knee joint.MSCs’ capacity for proliferation and differentiation, as well as its ability to release trophic factors makes the cells found in Wharton’s jelly an excellent option for hyaline-like cartilage restoration. MSCs derived from Wharton’s jelly are embedded onto the scaffolding and implanted via dry arthroscopy, offering an advantageous method of cartilage repair.
Utilizing Wharton’s jelly for cartilage repair is a highly favorable option as it triggers little to no immune response, is minimally invasive, and doesn’t produce teratogens or carcinogens after transplantation, placing emphasis on patient safety and comfort. Cell-based cartilage repair therapy would ultimately provide first line treatment by preventing and limiting the progression of joint wear until it results in a more severe issue. With approximately 400,000 MSCs residing in Wharton’s jelly, they are easily accessible and can provide positive results without depleting quickly. MSCs sourced from Wharton’s jelly can be store for long periods of time, allowing for off-the-shelf use that maintains viability and integrity while ensuring that the beneficial MSCs are readily available for regenerative healing.
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