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In ancient times, being born with a caul, the remains of the amniotic sac or membrane, was considered extremely lucky and many believed it gave the baby special protection and abilities. In Chinese medicine, the placenta has been used for centuries, with many mothers eating the placenta because of its benefits. It's only been in more modern times that the placenta and its tissue has been looked at more seriously for clinical purposes.
The first documented use of Amnion as a clinical treatment came back in 1910 where it was used for burn wounds. It was discovered that amnion tissue would integrate with the patient's tissue within a couple days and greatly reduced infection, pain, and increased rate of re-epithelialization. In 1940, amnion started to be used in ophthalmology for the repair of conjunctival defects. Since then, ophthalmology has become one of the most popular applications for amnion.
Today, because the amnion membrane is a natural scaffold with growth factors, cytokines, and specialized proteins with anti-inflammatory, anti-scarring, and wound healing properties, and has a low immunogenic response, it has found a wide range of clinical applications in regenerative medicine.
Bone allografts have been used since the late 1800s. It was around this time that it was discovered that frozen bone grafts had greater success in transplantation than fresh grafts. The reason for this is the freezing kills the cells making the graft have a relatively low immunogenic response.
With the development of tissue banking in the late 80s and 90s, bone allografts became more and more popular, increasingly used for the reconstruction and repair of skeletal defects. Unlike protheses, bone grafts are a natural scaffold and integrate into the patient's skeleton.
Today, there are many types of bone grafts. There have even been bone grafts developed with high growth factors and stem cells to increase the rate of healing and the overall outcome. The industry has given rise to greater patient outcomes and considerably more use of donated tissue.