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Cells, Amniotic

  • By: Michèle R. Davidson
  • In: Encyclopedia of Stem Cell Research
  • Edited by: Clive N. Svendsen & Allison D. Ebert
  • Subject:Ethics in Health Care (general), Medical Research

AMNIOTIC CELLS ARE those cells found within the amniotic fluid of pregnant women. Although the benefits of embryonic stem cells are widely known, knowledge regarding the potential of amniotic fluid cells is still in the infancy stage. Amniotic cells may possess the same qualities as stem cells as far as having the capability to transform into brain, muscle, and other tissues, and using this technology could have an enormous effect on tissue repair and organ regeneration.

Scientists have produced nonembryonic stem cell lines that have been termed amniotic fluid—derived stem cells (AFS). It is theorized that these cells are shed by the fetus as it develops and may be easier to harvest than embryonic stem cells. Stem cells can be harvested by amniotic cells as ...

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