About Stem Cells
What are stem cells? Stem cells are the master cells responsible for producing all of the mature cells in our blood and immune system.
White Cells: Fight infections
Red Cells: Carry oxygen
Platelets: Promote clotting and wound healing
Umbilical cord blood is the blood that remains in the vein of the umbilical cord and placenta at the time of birth. Cord blood is rich in stem cells and Cryo-Cell’s umbilical cord blood stem cell service
collects, processes and cryogenically preserves these stem cells for potential medical use. Cord blood stem cells have been used to treat nearly 80 diseases with over 25,000 transplants worldwide.
Stem Cell Uses
Cord blood stem cells have a number of significant advantages over other sources of stem cells (such as bone marrow).
Cord blood Stem Cells:
Have a high rate of engraftment
Are more tolerant of tissue mismatches
Result in a lower rate of severe Graft-versus-Host Disease (GVHD)
Are rarely contaminated with latent viruses
In addition, cord blood stem cells are “privileged” or unexposed to most diseases, which can make bone marrow from an adult more difficult to use in transplantation. But most importantly, cord blood stem cells from your baby is a perfect match for your child, in the event it should ever be needed, and has a 1-in-4 chance of matching a current or future sibling. It is important to note that a perfect match may not imply that the stem cells will be useful to treat certain diseases of the donor.
Cord tissue or Wharton’s jelly is the tissue surrounding the umbilical vein and vessels in the cord. When the vessels are removed, you have tissue remaining which contains a rich source of stem cells termed mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). The mesenchymal stem cells have the capability to differentiate into bone cells, fat cells and cartilage. These cells are increasingly being utilized in regenerative medicine research, targeting potential therapies for a wide range of conditions including heart disease, stroke, multiple sclerosis and diabetes.
Menstrual stem cells comes from the uterine lining (endometrium) that is shed as part of a woman’s menstrual period. These menstrual stem cells are unique because they have many properties and characteristics similar to both bone marrow and embryonic stem cells; they multiply rapidly and can differentiate into many other types of stem cells such as neural, cardiac, bone, fat, cartilage and possibly others; demonstrating great promise for future use in clinical regenerative medical therapies. Preliminary research suggests that in addition to potential use by the donor, these stem cells may possibly be used as well to benefit other family members, such as a parent, sibling or child.
Cryo-Cell’s umbilical cord tissue service provides expectant families with the opportunity to cryogenically store their newborn’s umbilical cord tissue cells contained within substantially intact cord tissue. Should umbilical cord tissue cells be considered for potential utilization in a future therapeutic application, further laboratory processing will be required.
In regards to umbilical cord tissue/menstrual stem cells, Cryo-Cell’s activities for New York State residents are limited to collection, processing, and long-term storage of umbilical cord tissue/menstrual stem cells. Cryo-Cell’s possession of a New York State license for such collection, processing and long-term storage does not indicate approval or endorsement of possible future uses or future suitability of these cells.