Umbilical cord is a waste material, and therefore does not raise ethical concerns related to its use for research and medicine. Stem cells from umbilical cord have a significant advantage over cells from other sources. First, the umbilical cord is an infinite source of stem cells, because it can be taken theoretically during each delivery. Secondly, acquisition of umbilical cord is a non-invasive, safe procedure for mother and child. Thirdly, the transplantation of umbilical cord stem cells is associated with a lower risk of infection and a less-frequent “graft versus host” reaction. In this work, the authors present a historical background of research on the cell from its discovery to modern times characterized by highly advanced methods of obtaining stem cells from umbilical cord and from other sources.
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