Cord blood bank

Cord tissue is tissue that forms part of the umbilical cord and is found around the blood vessels. A cord tissue bank is a facility that stores tissue from the umbilical cord for future use.

Since the 1990s, both public and private cord tissue banks have come up as a result of the potential uses of cord tissue. They can be used to treat blood and immunity related diseases.

Cord tissues are made up of a certain type of stem cells called stem cells of the mesenchyma (MSCs).

Stem cells found in cord tissues, have the ability to form many types of cells such as the bone cells, cartilage cells and fat cells. This nature of mesenchymal stem cells means that they can be used to treat many diseases.

Cord tissues also have the ability to form nerve cells and they have been known to have an effect in reducing inflammation. Currently, many clinical trials are being carried out in the use of MSCs but no therapy has been approved yet. This area of MSCs has developed high scientific interest. Results from these tests show that it is a promising field of science.

Potential uses of Cord Stem Cells

Among the clinical trials being carried out, the possibility of using cord tissue is being explored in treating the following:
• Heart disease
• Diabetes
• Stroke
• Liver disease
• Wounds
• Injuries of the spinal cord
• Cartilage repair

Public Cord Tissue Banks

Public banks always accept donations and can be used by anyone in need.
The public cord tissue banks have a big advantage because most ordinary folks cannot afford to save and use their tissues. It is expensive for them.

For an expectant woman to donate to the tissue bank, she should contact the bank during pregnancy long before delivery.

Tissue Collection and Storage

The umbilical cord is held tight using a clamp and cut to separate it from the mother and baby. A small section is then cut from the cord, washed and stored in a vial. The placenta is sent to the laboratory to for processing before the stem cells are recovered.

Red blood cells are removed from the cord stem cells completely before they are cryopreserved. Preservation is done using liquid nitrogen at -196?C. The stem cells are then stored in a cryopreservation bag.

To get as much stem cells as possible, the whole placenta must be cryopreserved. This method can be used to produce ten times more stem cell tissues compared to other methods.

Cord tissue extraction is quick and painless and it is safe for both the mother and the baby. It can be an advantage to have cord tissues stored.