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Cord Blood - Stem Cell Dept. Department Of Health And Human Services
Cord Blood Options Cord blood, also called placenta blood
or umbilical cord blood, refers to blood
that is found in the placentas and
umbilical cords belonging to new born
Saving Cord Blood The placenta is essentially the trading
post between the mother and baby
Cord Blood Banking and is connected to the foetus by the
umbilical cord. Blood found in these
Cord Blood Storage organs has the same composition as
regular blood except that in addition to
Cord Blood Services red blood cells, white blood cells and
plasma, it also contains a large amount
Cryo-Cell Cord Blood of hematopoietic stem cells.
Cord Blood Stem Cell These stem cells can also be found in
the bone marrow of adults and
Cord Blood Transplants because of this similarity, cord blood
can be used in bone marrow
Cord Blood Registry transplants.
Cord Blood Donation
Hematopoietic stem cells are responsible for the renewal of blood since they are able to
differentiate into all the different types of blood cell as well as into immune cells. In addition
What Is Cord Blood
to this, they are able to move from the bone marrow into general circulation and can undergo
» apoptosis or programmed cell death.
Cord blood can only be collected fifteen minutes after delivery has occurred and the umbilical
cord severed from the child. When collected, the blood can survive for about three days at
room temperature. This window of time is generally used to transport the supply to blood
banks where the stem cells are treated and cryogenically frozen. Once frozen, the stem cells
are able to retain their usefulness for decades after the fact.
The blood collected can be stored in
public or family banks. In public banks
the donors remain anonymous while in
family banks the samples remain
connected to the child and his
This could prove to be useful if the
baby or its family members need stem
cells in the future.
It is also possible that storing stem
cells can provide babies with more
medical options as further
developments in science and
technology take place.
In the past twenty to thirty years, umbilical cord blood has become important in health and in
the study of the importance of hematopoietic stem cells. It has been used to treat
approximately seventy diseases thus far including hematologic malignancies like leukaemia,
bone marrow failure diseases like anaemia, immune deficiency diseases like Nezelof
syndrome, metabolic diseases like Tay Sach disease as well as histiocytoses, neuroblastoma
and afflictions of neutrophils and red blood cells. For transplant purposes, children generally
cannot benefit from their own cord blood. However, adults have a fifty percent chance of
being able to use their own stem cells in transplant medicine.
Research into cord blood has shown that it has great potential for tissue regeneration. It has
been found that cord blood contains mesenchymal and endothelial progenitor cells that could
possibly form bone and/or cartilage and blood vessels respectfully. It also contains
pluripotent cells that could be able to form any type of cell including nerve, muscle and
insulin-producing cells. These properties of cord blood could turn into cures for diseases like
Alzheimer’s and osteoporosis that can only be treated but not eradicated.
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