About Plasalus

Meet our Staff


Research & Development

Contact us

Hematopoietic Stem cells

Multipotent Stem cells











Hematopoietic Stem Cells:

Extending the stem cell resource for bone marrow transplants

For many blood diseases such as Leukemia, Sickle Cell Disease, and Thalassemia, the only cure available is through the replacement of bone marrow stem cells.
Bone marrow transplants, however, are very complex medical interventions and many patients unfortunately succumb to their disease due to the lack of a proper stem cell resource. Currently, donor stem cells are derived from the bone marrow of donors, or collected from the cord blood after a baby is born.
Regardless of its origin, there must be enough stem cell units that are also immunologically matched for a successful transplant. A poorly matched unit leads to “Graft versus Host Disease” (GVHD), by which active immune response cells (T-Cells) in the donor stem cell preparation will recognize their new environment as “not self”. This attack of the graft on the tissue of the recipient patient can have devastating consequences. Even if a matched unit is available, obtaining enough stem cells for a robust engraftment is required to replace the blood making stem cells, and provide a cure.

PlaSalus aims to provide protocols for harvesting of hematopoietic stem cells from human term placentas to make this life saving procedure available to more children and adults.

Whereas cord blood has been shown to be an important new resource for bone marrow transplants, the main barrier to a broader clinical application is the limiting cellular content of each cord blood unit collected. The discovery of hematopoietic progenitor cells in placental tissue of the mouse led us to investigate whether the human placenta contains these blood making cells, and to develop a procedure to harvest these cells for transplantation. We were able to show that the human term placenta contains large numbers of hematopoietic stem cells, with the potential to provide a cellular yield several-fold greater than that of a typical cord blood harvest

Currently the vast majority of placentas are treated as biological waste after the baby is born. PlaSalus aims to change this practice and to use the human term placenta as a new resource for bone marrow transplant to safe lives.

Serikov V, Hounshell C, Larkin S, Green W, Ikeda H, Walters MC, Kuypers FA. Human Term Placenta as a Source of Hematopoietic Cells. Exp Biol Med (Maywood) 234:813-823, 2009.