New Delhi : Menstrual blood stem cells can now be easily collected, processed and harvested in an affordable, painless and non-invasive manner.
This unique stem cell banking is being launched in India for the first time at Chennai, capital of Tamil Nadu state, as LifeCell Femme menstrual blood stem cell banking service.
Until now, menstrual blood was discarded as unsanitary waste. Menstrual blood contains a large number of self-renewing stem cells that multiply rapidly and can differentiate into many other types of cells such as neural, cardiac, bone, fat, cartilage and possibly others, demonstrating great potential for cell therapy, statesman reported quoting the recent research.
Every month during a woman’s menstrual period the uterine lining, endometrium, is shed along with the extra blood and tissues. This lining of the uterus contains a large number of mesenchymal stem cells and several thousand fold high concentration of stem cell growth factors. These cells from the endometrium are unique because they have many properties and characteristics similar to both bone marrow and embryonic stem cells.
Although menstrual stem cell technology has not yet been utilised to date in human therapies, the collective body of ongoing research may potentially change the types of therapies used to diagnose or treat a host of significant medical conditions in the future affecting hundreds of millions worldwide like Alzheimer’s disease, atherosclerosis, diabetes, heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease, Parkinson’s disease, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and many others.
“Stem cell technology is the future of medicine. Experiments performed at the Keio University school of medicine have succeeded in growing sheets of heart muscle from connective tissue cells harvested from menstrual blood When it comes to growing heart muscle, however, the connective tissue cells in menstrual blood have a success rate 100 times higher than the 0.2 – 0.3 percent for stem cells taken from human bone marrow,” said the chief scientific officer, LifeCell International, Dr Ajit Kumar.
Once collected the menstrual blood stem cells are dispatched to LifeCell’s state of the art laboratory facility at Chennai for processing. The stem cells are then harvested and the menstrual stem cells are frozen in liquid nitrogen storage container for cryogenic preservation at sub-zero minus 196 degrees centigrade. This procedure will enable the stem cells to retain their potency and viability for an indefinite period of time.