The human umbilical cord (UC) bridges the blood flow gap between baby and mother, protecting the blood supply in a way that allows the fetus freedom to move within the amniotic sac. Once the blood supply has been oxygenated by the maternal blood pool via the placenta, the umbilical vein (UV) provides a transport pathway to the fetus. Two umbilical arteries (UA) return the blood supply to the pool to eliminate CO2 and other metabolic wastes [1]. The walls of the UA’s and UV are made up of an intima composed a single layer of large, elongated endothelial cells [2], and a media composed of randomly distributed smooth muscles cells, collagen, elastin, and ground substance. These vessels are unique in that their adventitia is absent and substituted by Wharton’s jelly, a mucoid connective tissue.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.