Stem Cells: Umbilical Cord/Wharton’s Jelly Derived

  • John T. Walker
  • Armand Keating
  • John E. DaviesEmail author
Living reference work entry
Part of the Reference Series in Biomedical Engineering book series (RSBE)


As a commonly discarded tissue, the umbilical cord contains a rich source of mesenchymal stromal cells, which are therefore obtained non-invasively. As a perinatal population, replicative senescence is delayed and cell expansion is expedited, enabling collection of many clinically relevant doses from a single donor cord at low passage numbers. In this chapter, we will discuss the structure of the umbilical cord and the various stromal populations contained within that have been described. We also highlight the lack of consensus on both anatomical descriptors of the cord tissue, and standardized isolation techniques for these different populations, which together with insufficient methodological transparency may be hampering progress within the field. We then review the basic and preclinical models of disease that have been targets of umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stromal cells. Finally, we close with a discussion of their use in clinical trials.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • John T. Walker
    • 1
  • Armand Keating
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
  • John E. Davies
    • 2
    • 7
    Email author
  1. 1.Anatomy & Cell Biology, Schulich School of Medicine and DentistryThe University of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  2. 2.Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical EngineeringTorontoCanada
  3. 3.University of TorontoTorontoCanada
  4. 4.Cell Therapy ProgramUniversity Health NetworkTorontoCanada
  5. 5.Arthritis Program, Krembil Research InstituteUniversity Health NetworkTorontoCanada
  6. 6.Princess Margaret Cancer CentreUniversity Health NetworkTorontoCanada
  7. 7.Faculty of DentistryTorontoCanada

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