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Cord Blood - Stem Cell Dept. Department Of Health And Human Services
Cord Blood Options Cord blood comes from the placenta
and umbilical cord of newborn babies.
It is identical in composition to regular
blood except that it contains an
abundant supply of hematopoietic
(blood-forming) stem cells or HSCs.
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Cord blood also contains progenitor
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tissue. These cord blood stem cells
Cord Blood Storage are multipotent which means that they
can form any type of blood cell and can
Cord Blood Services self-renew as well.
Cryo-Cell Cord Blood This makes them responsible for the
replenishment of the blood supply.
Cord Blood Stem Cell
Cord Blood Transplants Cord blood stem cells resemble lymphocytes in that they are round, possess a round nucleus
and have a small amount of cytoplasm compared to nuclear matter. Embryonic stem cells or
cord blood stem cells differ from adult stem cells in their immunological immaturity, high rates
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of propagation and reduced exposure to viruses and aging.
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Cord blood stem cells are harvested immediately after delivery of the newborn takes place.
The blood is collected from the umbilical cord and placenta and must be kept at room
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temperature after processing. Normally the afterbirth yields about seventy-five millilitres of
Processing separates the white blood cell content from the rest of the blood. This can be
done using hydroxyl ethyl starch (HES) sedimentation, red blood cell lysis using ammonium
chloride, density gradient separation and differential centrifugation and buffy coat removal.
Hydroxy ethyl starch sedimentation is
one of the most popular methods of
stem cell isolation. Separating the cord
blood stem cells from the other
components of the blood sample
reduces the amount of storage space
required and so reduces cost.
After separation and testing, the cord
blood stem cells are frozen
cryogenically in liquid nitrogen tanks.
These tanks are tested routinely to
ensure that they are not contaminated.
When the stem cells are required, they
must be transported in specialized
containers that are able to maintain
the cryogenic temperature until use.
Cord blood stem cells have been used in the treatment of more than seventy diseases which
include Hodgkin’s lymphoma, cerebral palsy, leukaemia and sickle cell anaemia. Cord blood
stem cells are even more successful than bone marrow transplants in the treatment of
leukaemia since there does not have to be such a close blood match between the donor and
This is particularly useful when treating patients who come from ethnic minorities or who are
mixed. In general, donors cannot benefit from their stem cells when they are children but
there is a fifty percent chance of an adult being able to use his own stem cells. There is also
a twenty-five percent chance of siblings being able to use each other’s stem cells. If the use
of cord blood stem cells in regenerative medicine becomes more of a standard there is a
possibility that personal use could become more feasible.
Research into cord blood stem cells is currently developing therapies that use stem cells to
help the body regenerate or repair itself. These regenerative therapies require the patient to
use his own stem cells though.
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