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WSCS 2021 | Placental-derived stem cells for neonatal necrotizing enterocolitis

Anthony Atala, MD, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC, discusses the potential use of human placental-derived stem cells (hPSCs) for the treatment of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in premature newborns. NEC is an intestinal disease with a high mortality rate in neonates and there are currently limited therapeutic options. hPSCs have the capacity to differentiate into the three germ layers and can be expanded in large quantities, however, they do not form teratomas, unlike human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). In a recent study, the injection of hPSCs into an experimental animal models of necrotizing enterocolitis resulted in reversal of the disease. This interview took place at the 2021 World Stem Cell Summit (WSCS).