Menstrual blood has long been discarded as unsanitary and waste, but now stem cells from this very source can be stored and used for treating many ailments. About 1,000 customers have signed up for menstrual blood stem cell banking since it was launched in India in March.
Started by Chennai-based LifeCell under the name LifeCell Femme, menstrual blood stem cell banking provides women with the unique opportunity to collect and preserve vital stem cells that can be harvested from the body's menstrual blood. The menstrual stem cells are unique because they have many properties and characteristics similar to both bone marrow and embryonic stem cells.
"The stem cells multiply rapidly and can differentiate into many other types of stem cells such as neural, cardiac, bone, fat, cartilage and possibly others, demonstrating great promise for future use in clinical regenerative medical therapies," Mayur Abhaya, executive director, LifeCell International told.
Preliminary research suggests that in addition to the potential use by the donor, these stem cells may possibly be used as well to benefit other family members who are genetically related to the donor, such as perhaps a parent, sibling or child.