HERE’S THE SCIENCE.
A variety of studies have shown that amniotic fluid and placental/umbilical tissue contains cells with the hallmark features of stem cells, including the potential to differentiate into other cell types. That amniotic fluid also contains soluble factors that may be important for revving up the body’s regenerative response. These observations have generated much interest in the use of amniotic fluid in regenerative medicine, and exceptional work is being done to explore its true potential.
Patients and clinical professionals need to understand that current regulations do not allow umbilical tissue and amniotic fluid containing living cells used in another person. Umbilical tissue and amniotic fluid undergo extensive filtration, freezing, and even gamma irradiation steps that permanently destroys all of the cells that may have been present. So what’s the result? The amniotic fluid contains some biological proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and other molecules but lacks stem cells. Manufacturers of amniotic fluid have touted the impact of exosomes; however, these structures are poorly characterized on their effect for orthopedic conditions and highlight the potential risk of the transfer of genetic information from donor-derived tissues.