Stem cells have incredible potential for regenerative medicine, but getting them in sufficient quantities is very problematic. Scientists at the University of Lund (Sweden) suggested using amniotic fluid collected during a cesarean section as a source of stem cells.
Stem cells are valuable because they enable transformation into other cells in the body. They can be a starting point in the treatment of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer's disease and others. The problem is that modern extraction methods are either invasive or very painful.
The amniotic fluid that surrounds the fetus and is rich in nutrients is better than anything else as a source of stem cells: it is abundant and, moreover, its extraction is no more invasive than the process of childbirth.
Scientists have developed a new device and method for collecting fluid and extracting mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) from it. The device is 3D-printed from bioinert plastics that allow doctors to gently and safely remove fluid, commonly viewed as medical "waste" from surgery.
It is then passed through a 100 micron mesh filter and then passed through a centrifuge. After that, the cell structure is grown from the purified liquid.
MSCs can replicate in a wide variety of cell types, including embryonic stem cells. This means that almost any type of body cell can be grown from them.