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Transforming Science, Creating Potential

Birth tissues are a plentiful and pristine source of living cells that can support a broad spectrum of experimental model systems and therapeutic approaches. Every placenta comprises maternal and fetal-in-origin cells, creating a unique opportunity to source cells without any risk to the mother or child. At the Amnion Foundation, we specialize in isolating and banking human cells for use by our partners and clients in the pursuit of new therapies.

Female Scientist in White Lab Coat Using a Microscope

Term Cytotrophoblasts

Cytotrophoblasts are the fetal-origin epithelial cells that are responsible, in part, for creating a barrier between the maternal blood and the developing baby.

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The cytotrophoblasts act as lineage-restricted progenitor cells that can self-renew and give rise to two different types of trophoblasts. Extravillous trophoblasts are the highly migratory cells responsible for invading the uterine wall early in gestation and ensuring proper implantation of the fertilized egg. Syncytiotrophoblasts arise from cytotrophoblasts and form a contiguous layer of multinucleated cells that are tightly interconnected to control the passage of nutrients, waste, toxicants, and pathogens between the mother and the developing baby.

Until recently, isolation and propagation of cytotrophoblasts from a full-term placenta (after delivery of the baby) were not possible, and these cells could only be obtained from pre-term fetal tissue, which creates controversy for those who want to use these cells in model systems or genomic studies. However, we have developed methods that enable the isolation and propagation of cytotrophoblast progenitor cells from the full-term placenta, thereby creating a non-controversial resource for these valuable cells.

Through tight control of tissue procurement, isolation protocols, and the culture environment, term cytotrophoblasts can be isolated, propagated, and cryopreserved to enable their use in genomic studies and cell-based assays.

Cytotrophoblasts (CTBPRO2®) available through the Amnion Foundation are immunopositive for CD49f and express both the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and cytokeratin 7 (CK7). They also secrete human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in culture.

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CTBPRO2GRO™ Trophoblast Media

Our cytotrophoblast culture media, CTBPRO2GRO™, is a proprietary formula that was designed to enhance the growth and expansion of the CTBPRO2® cells.

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CTBPRO2GRO™ is supplied as a refrigerator-stable basal media and frozen supplement pack that are combined at the point of use to extend the life of the culture media.

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Hofbauer Cells (Macrophages)

Highly specialized tissue macrophages, called Hofbauer cells, are found within the chorionic villi of the placenta throughout gestation.

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Fetal in origin, these cells perform the general functions associated with tissue macrophages, including the phagocytosis of apoptotic cells and the presentation of antigens related to inflammation and infectious diseases. The role of Hofbauer Cells in placental and fetal development is not fully understood but is an area of active investigation. Emerging evidence suggests roles for Hofbauer cells in promoting vasculogenesis, forming the villous tree, and developing the placental mesenchyme. Hofbauer Cells may also play a role in the vertical transmission of infectious agents, including the Zika virus, from mother to child, making this cell type of particular interest in studying infectious disease.

At the Amnion Foundation, Hofbauer cells are isolated from full-term placental tissue after careful microdissection of the chorion and enzymatic dissociation of the tissue. Cells are enriched based on surface protein expression and cryopreserved immediately after isolation without culture steps. Post-thaw morphology is typical of tissue macrophages, and flow cytometric analyses confirm the expression of CD68 and CD163 in each lot.

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Microvascular Endothelial Cells (MVECPRO® and MVECPRO2®)

Human placental microvascular endothelial cells (MVEC) are isolated from the term placenta. These cells originate on the fetal side of the placenta and form the microvasculature within the chorionic villi.

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Together with the placental trophoblasts, these cells comprise the maternal-fetal barrier and influence the proper development of the placenta through autocrine and paracrine signaling. The MVEC available from the Amnion Foundation are immunopositive for CD31, CD29, and VE-cadherin and confirmed to be competent for tube formation.

Donor-matched trophoblasts and MVEC may be available to support your projects.

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Human Placenta-Derived Stem Cells (PSCPRO® and PSCPRO2®)

Isolated from the human placenta after a healthy birth, fetal-origin PSCs are phenotypically stable and can be extensively expanded to create large banks of cells to support research, pre-clinical, and clinical programs.

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The potential applications for hPSCs are supported by over two decades of peer-reviewed scientific publications and the advancement of programs at highly accredited research institutes, including the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

Learn More about the history and science behind PSCs. Are you interested in becoming a PSC banking partner? We would love to hear from you and learn more about your research and GMP banking needs. Are you interested in working with the PSCs to support your basic and preclinical research? The Amnion Foundation provides hPSCs for research use at both standard atmospheric oxygen tensions and physiologic oxygen tensions (PSCPRO™ and PSCPRO2™), as well as offering custom services for the generation of research-grade cell banks formatted to fit your needs.

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Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells (HUVECPRO® and HUVECPRO2®)

Isolated from the fresh umbilical cord, our hUVEC cells are isolated and cultured at both standard atmospheric oxygen tensions (hUVEC) and physiologically relevant oxygen tensions (HUVECPRO™ and HUVECPRO2™) and are donor matched.

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These cells have been thoroughly characterized with surface marker profiles, cellular motility, migration assays, and tube formation assays assessing angiogenic potential.

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Birth Tissue Cells and Services

The placenta and umbilical cord tissue contain multiple highly valuable cell types, including cytotrophoblasts, a variety of endothelial cells, and specialized immune cells (Hofbauer cells), that can support the establishment of model systems aimed at assessing placental barrier function, vasculogenesis, and infectious diseases.

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Furthermore, many of these cell types (endothelial cells, pericytes, and a variety of stem and progenitor cells) have tremendous potential as components of regenerative medicine products.

Amnion Foundation provides dissected germinal-origin placental tissue that has been snap-frozen within hours of delivery for your genomic and proteomic needs. Order Snap Frozen Germinal-Origin Placental Tissue now by contacting us at!

Snap Frozen Germinal-Origin Placental Tissue Samples
Lot # Catalog #
PLGF20118R 1201
PLGF20119R 1201
PLGF20120R 1201
PLGF21121R 1201
PLGF21122R 1201
PLGF21123R 1201

The Amnion Foundation is committed to providing quality cells and isolation services for our partners and clients.

Contact Us with your requests for specific cells or services.

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