Cryopreserved biologic amniotic tissue has an emerging role in orthopedics.
Amniotic tissue can be used in conjunction with regenerative medicine treatments, such as stem cell and PRP therapies, to help improve outcomes Doctors at Rush University School of Medicine wrote in 2016 in the American Journal of Sports Medicine: “Amniotic membranes have many promising applications in sports medicine.”
When placental tissue and amniotic fluid are in their natural state, they contain numerous living stem cells. Amniotic cells are gathered from the placenta of volunteers immediately after childbirth, which is tissue that would otherwise be discarded.
Amniotic stem cells are found in the amniotic sac and not in embryos. Prior to undergoing cryopreservation, the tissue is screened and tested for hundreds of infectious agents and if any are found the tissue is discarded. When the tissue is cryopreserved or freeze dried, no stem cells survive. Amniotic products do not contain stem cells.
However, some components of amniotic tissue survive the process. Growth factors, similar to those found in PRP, and hyaluronic acid, which helps to lubricate cartilage and boots new cartilage growth, survive cryopreservation. The surviving tissue contains proteins and substances that lead to tissue repair and healing.
In 2013, a study by MiMedx Group, the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and the Angiogenesis Foundation was published in the International Journal of Wound Healing. Researchers discovered that the amniotic fluid contains “significant regenerative properties . . . and stem cell activators.” The processed amniotic membrane stimulates human bone marrow stem cells already present in the body to multiply. The study concludes:
“The growth factors presented are known to play critical roles in normal wound healing, including cell proliferation and chemotaxis (cell migration and movement to the site of injury), as well a promoting angiogenesis (blood vessel formation), deposition of Extracellular Matrix (the scaffold where stem cells grow), and regulating inflammation.”
Cryopreserved biologic amniotic tissue contains properties that promote healing and stimulate cell growth and can be used in combination with stem cell or PRP therapies. To discuss appropriate treatment for individual injuries and conditions, consult with the DOC orthopedic surgeons who specialize and are experienced in regenerative medicine therapies.