University of Toronto professor John E. Davies, also president of TRT, and his team of researchers at the university have developed novel technology to extract an abundant population of human umbilical cord perivascular (HUCPVCs) cells found in the umbilical cord tissue surrounding the cord vessels, also known as “Wharton’s jelly”.

This source of mesenchymal progenitor stem cell is multi-potential, meaning the same group of cells can be triggered to create bone, muscle and other tissue when cultured in various media and the possibilities are vast. “This technology could be effective in treating a wide range of musculoskeletal, cardiac, immune and other diseases,” says Davies.

The TRT focus lies in cell therapy applications of mesenchymal stem cells for regenerative therapy in cell transplantation (e.g. allogeneic bone marrow transplantation), cell banking (e.g. umbilical cord-derived stem cell banking), and connective tissue regeneration (e.g. bone, cartilage, etc.).

While the technology is still in a clinical trial phase, the therapeutic potential of this source of highly proliferating cells is a very attractive compliment to expectant parents looking to store umbilical cord blood stem cells. The frequency of HUCPV cells is one in 300, compared to the bone marrow frequency of only one in 100,000. “With the rate at which these cells multiply, once isolated,” explains Davies, “it only takes 21 days to generate enough stem cells for up to 1,000 therapeutic cell doses.”

The functional advantage of mesenchymal stem cells is that once injected into the body they target damaged tissue and repair it. In this way, Davies says, administering extra mesenchymal progenitor cells could help repair broken bones or build new cartilage.

The research was supported through the University of Toronto, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Ontario Research and Development Challenge Fund.

Source: medical news today