The Umbilical Cord Blood and Cord Tissue Banking Process
For most parents, the cord blood banking process, which includes collecting, processing and cryopreserving their baby’s umbilical cord blood and cord tissue, is a new experience. At first glance, the process seems complicated. However, the more you learn about the process, the more you will be comfortable in making a decision for your family, and the more you will come to realize how superior Cryo-Cell is in comparison to all other private cord blood banks. For each step of the banking process, Cryo-Cell has carefully studied, designed and selected the best materials, the best methods, and implemented the best process to safeguard the specimens in its care. Should you have questions not completely answered here, Cryo-Cell’s knowledgeable Cord Blood Educators are available to provide you with answers and explanations so that you will be well equipped to make an informed decision.
- Cryo-Cell uses non-heparin cord blood collection bags as recommended by FDA. The specially designed Cryo-Cell collection kit has been scientifically validated to be able to safeguard stem cells approximately 30 times longer than kits used by other private cord blood banks under extreme temperatures. Cord tissue specimens are transported in antibiotic solution for optimal preservation and protection against bacterial contamination.
- Cord blood collection begins with your healthcare provider collecting the cord blood from your baby’s umbilical cord immediately after birth, but generally before the placenta is delivered. After the placenta is delivered, the cord tissue is then collected. There is absolutely no pain or risk to the mother or child during the collection process since the blood is taken from the cord after it has been clamped and cut. Cord blood and cord tissue collections are safe for both vaginal and cesarean deliveries.
- The maternal blood is also collected during delivery, to be tested for certain infectious diseases as mandated by federal regulations. And to meet the highest international transplant standards, Cryo-Cell collects and stores extra maternal blood samples.
- After having gathered the maternal blood, the baby’s cord blood and/or cord tissue, parents are to call Cryo-Cell’s toll free number listed on top of the collection kit to arrange for a medical courier pickup.
Please note that the moment of delivery is the only opportunity to preserve your baby’s stem cells from cord blood and cord tissue.
Testing and Processing
Usually within 36 to 48 hours of collection, the cord blood and tissue are tested, processed, and cryogenically stored.
- Maternal blood is tested for infectious diseases.
- Each cord blood/cord tissue specimen is tested for microbiological contamination.
- To maximize the recovery of stem cells, Cryo-Cell’s laboratory technologists separate stem cells from cord blood using PrepaCyte® CB, the most advanced processing technology in the field. This method depletes up to 99% of the red blood cells and recovers the highest number of Colony-forming Units, which are the stem cells that are the best predictor of patient outcomes.
- Since many recent cutting-edge studies have shown that regenerative medicine is most effective with a mix of stem cell types (simulating the teamwork taking place within our organs and tissues), Cryo-Cell stores the umbilical cord tissue in its entirety to preserve all its cell types to maximize the baby’s future health options.
Cryo-Cell is currently the only private cord blood bank that takes the following measures in compliance with the highest international transplant standards to preserve more future testing samples for its clients:
- Both the cord blood and cord tissue are over-wrapped for extra protection against cross contamination during storage. All specimens are stored in the vapor phase of liquid nitrogen for cryogenic preservation, at the constant temperature ~ -196o Celsius.
- Cryobags with multiple removable segments are used to facilitate cryopreservation and potential future blood type matching and testing.
- The storage facilities have the following features: Built as a reinforced bunker to withstand the worst possible natural disasters
Constantly monitored for security and temperature
Equipped with a comprehensive emergency infrastructure
These measurements are taken to facilitate possible future transplant needs, as well as in anticipation of possible future developments in medical science. Here is a sample of the growing list of how your family can benefit from this unique Cryo-Cell foresight without sacrificing the principal cord blood unit:
- Collect and store additional maternal blood
- Store the residual plasma and red blood cells that are routinely discarded by other cord blood banks
It is believed that stem cells can be successfully stored indefinitely and retain viability upon thaw. A recent study of cord blood stem cells at Indiana University demonstrated its viability after 23.5 years of cryogenic storage. Furthermore, bone marrow and human fertility cells haves been stored for decades and remained viable—there is no reason to believe that the same would not be true of cord blood and cord tissue.
- Additional transplant matching criteria (HLA antigens) are established by regulators.
- New infectious agents are discovered and testing can prevent infectious stem cells from being transplanted to another family member.
- Genetic testing is needed on the mother or the child.
- In the event the child develops a debilitating disease and it is helpful to know if the disease was present in the mother or the child at birth.
- For misidentification such as hospital errors or questionable lab results, tests can easily be conducted or repeated.
Within 6-8 weeks of collection, your family will receive a certificate of ownership. Included in the certificate are the many test and processing results, including the total stem cell counts being cryopreserved and safeguarded at Cryo-Cell.
Request more information about banking process.
In order to preserve more types and quantity of umbilical cord stem cells and to maximize possible future health options, 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 may be necessary. Regarding umbilical cord tissue, all private blood banks’ activities for New York State residents are limited to collection, processing, and long-term storage of umbilical cord tissue stem cells. The 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.