Amniotic Membrane Allografts – What Are They?
Tendon and ligament injuries take a long time to heal. Research suggest amniotic membrane allografts can be successfully used to repair tendon and ligament injuries and can also restore the functionality of the tissue.
What are amniotic membranes?
Located in the innermost region of the placenta, amniotic membrane is a multi-layered versatile structure surrounding around the fetus during development. Amniotic membrane primarily functions as a barrier between the fetus and maternal tissues, where it regulates the transport of water, essential minerals and soluble food. This membrane is also involved in producing a number of growth factors, cytokines and other proteins required for fetal growth. Amniotic membranes are made up of mesenchymal stromal cells (Stem Cells). Overall, amniotic membranes are equipped with all the components essential for regeneration of damaged tissue. Amniotic membrane allografts (AMA) can be described as amniotic membranes that are obtained from one person and transplanted into another person for the purpose of healing damaged joints, ligaments and tendons.
Are they safe?
AMA is suggested to be one of the earliest biomaterials used in regenerative medicine for treating burn injuries and corneal repair. AMA have also been used successfully for healing cardiac injury and cartilage repair. Interestingly, research has clearly shown that injection of amniotic cells/membranes is a safe procedure as these cells do not evoke an immune response or cause any tumor formation due to their non-tumorigenic and non-immunogenic nature.
How do we get them?
Amniotic membranes are obtained from pregnant donors who are willing to donate their placenta, also known as umbilical cord. These donors are carefully screened for a number of social and medical conditions such as infections like HIV and syphilis, malignancies, smoking, addictions and drug abuse. A complete physical examination of the donor is conducted prior to procurement of placenta, which is preferably obtained only from donors who had delivered through a caesarean section. Vaginal deliveries have a risk of being contaminated with microbes.
Following delivery, placenta is separated from the baby by trained medical professionals in a clean and sterile environment. The tissue is then transported to a federally-accredited laboratory as soon as possible. Inside the laboratory, placenta is a washed with a combination of balanced salt solution and antibiotic cocktail prior to removal of amnion. The amniotic layer is carefully washed, cut into multiple portions, placed on a special nitrocellulose paper small pieces and stored at -80°C in an 86% glycerol containing solution. Under these conditions, membranes can be stored for 1-2years. For long term storage, amniotic cells must be stored in liquid nitrogen at -140°C. AMA are supplied in a cryopreserved condition as frozen vials.
At Stem X, our medical professionals are well-trained, and are probably one of the best in the procurement and administration of amniotic membrane allograft injections. Please visit www.stemxgroup.com to know more about the procedure.