The placenta as a cell source in fetal tissue engineering

Amir Kaviani, Tjrvi E. Perry, Carmen M. Barnes, Jung Tak Oh, Moritz M. Ziegler, Steven J. Fishman, Dario O. Fauza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study was aimed at determining whether fetal tissue constructs can be engineered from cells derived from the placenta. Methods: A subpopulation of morphologically distinct cells was isolated mechanically from specimens of human placenta (n = 6) and selectively expanded. The lineage of these cells was determined by immunofluorescent staining against multiple intermediate filaments and surface antigens. Cell proliferation rates were determined by oxidation assays and compared with those of immunocytochemically identical cells derived from human amniotic fluid samples (n = 6). Statistical analysis was by analysis of variance (ANOVA). After expansion, the cells were seeded onto a polyglycolic acid polymer/poly-4-hydroxybutyrate scaffold. The resulting construct was analyzed by both optical and scanning electron microscopy. Results: The immunocytochemical profile of expanded placental cells was consistent with a nontrophoblastic, mesenchymal origin. Their proliferation rate in culture was not significantly different when compared with mesenchymal fetal cells isolated from human amniotic fluid; however, it was greater than previously reported rates for similar cells obtained from postnatal or adult tissues. Construct analysis showed dense layers of cells firmly attached to the scaffold without evidence of cell death. Conclusions: Subpopulations of nontrophoblastic, mesenchymal cells can be isolated consistently from the human placenta. These cells proliferate as rapidly as fetal mesenchymal amniocytes in vitro and attach firmly to polyglycolic acid scaffolds. The placenta can be a valuable and practical source of cells for the engineering of select fetal tissue constructs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)995-999
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Pediatric Surgery
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported by grants from the United States Surgical Corporation and The Children's Hospital Surgical Foundation.

Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Birth defects
  • Chorionic villus sampling
  • Congenital anomalies
  • Fetal surgery
  • Fetus
  • Neonate
  • Placenta
  • Prenatal
  • Tissue engineering
  • Transplantation


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