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The presence of fetal DNA and mRNA species in all three STBM preparations, particularly in those obtained by perfusion of the maternal compartment of the placenta under near-physiologic conditions, implies that cell-free fetal nucleic acids may similarly be associated with STBM in vivo.
It is generally believed that in pregnant women the source of cell-free fetal nucleic acids is placentally derived apoptotic cells (12), but it has recently been shown that some fetal DNA sequences are detectable in membrane-bound vesicles (13).