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Placenta. 2017 Nov;59:113-115. doi: 10.1016/j.placenta.2017.04.022. Epub 2017 Apr 26.

Placental stem cells: The promise of curing diseases before birth.

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Department of Surgery, University of California, Davis Health System, Sacramento, CA, United States. Electronic address:


Regenerative medicine is a rapidly expanding and promising field for many diseases and injuries. Stem cells for regenerative therapies have originally been obtained from bone marrow, but are now readily extracted from a variety of adult tissues. Fetal tissue has recently garnered interest for its ease of differentiation into a variety of phenotypes and its relative abundance of pluripotent-linked transcription factors. However, much ethical concern surrounds the methods of obtaining fetal cells. The placenta has emerged as a potential source of fetal derived cells due to its favorable technical and ethical characteristics, as well as its promising therapeutic properties. This preview focuses on providing on overview on the derivation and characteristics of placental derived stem cells as well as delving into their various clinical applications and potential future directions.


Birth defect; Congenital anomaly; Fetal surgery; In utero transplantation; Mesenchymal stromal cells; Placental stem cell

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