Isolation and culture methods of human breastmilk stem cells: A systematic review

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With the rapid development of cell-based therapy, the source of stem cells derived from non-invasive techniques have been intensively studied for their potential to replace the invasive source of stem cells. One of the alternative sources of stem cells is the cells taken from human breastmilk. Human breastmilk is always readily available, easy to access and can last for an extended period. Unfortunately, the standard protocol to isolate the cells from breastmilk is still not well explained. Our study aimed to investigate three main questions in human breastmilk stem cells: the optimal lactation stage, isolation and culture method, and the characterization of human breastmilk stem cells. We searched in vitro studies that used human breastmilk as a cell source of stem cells and clearly explained the step-by-step procedure. From the initial 457 studies, 15 articles fulfilled the criteria and were further analyzed. The results showed that the stem cells could be taken from breastmilk in any lactation stage and isolated with various techniques to obtain both pluri-and multipotent stem cells. Although breastmilk can be used as an alternative for noninvasive source of stem cell, the results of few study groups were found sometimes contradicting another group, resulting in confusing theory. Therefore, the standard protocol is still needed to tackle the confounding results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-17
Number of pages7
JournalBiomedicine (India)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 5 Mar 2022


  • Breastmilk stem cells
  • Culture method
  • Isolation protocol


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