Banking Stem Cells

Stem cells are defined by three cardinal properties: they are unspecialized cells, they can self-renew (generate perfect copies of themselves upon division) and differentiate (produce specialized cell types that perform specific functions in the body). Hence, stem cells have the potential to repair, restore, replace and regenerate cells that could be used to treat many medical conditions and diseases. Use of stem cells in regenerative medicine holds great promise for improving human health by restoring the function of cells and organs damaged due to degeneration or injury.

Umbilical cord blood and umbilical cord were previously considered to be a medical ‘by‐product’, usually discarded as waste following childbirth. However over the past 20 years, research has shown them to be valuable sources of stem cells which can be cryopreserved for future therapeutic use. Cryo Stemcell is India’s first Family bank that offers you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to store your baby’s umbilical cord blood and umbilical cord stem cells for therapeutic use by your baby and other compatible family members.

Umbilical Cord Blood

Umbilical cord blood is the blood that remains in a baby’s umbilical cord and placenta after the childbirth and the umbilical cord has been cut following childbirth. Umbilical cord blood is a rich source of hematopoietic stem cells that are similar to those found in the bone marrow and have the ability to develop into all the different blood cell types creating the blood and immune system.

Hematopoietic stem cells are used for transplantation to reconstitute the blood and immune system in numerous malignant and non-malignant conditions like Leukemias, Fanconi anemia, Sickle cell disease, Thalassemia, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome, Chronic granulomatous disease to name a few. Demand for umbilical cord blood transplants is increasing as the hematopoietic stem cells from umbilical cord blood are biologically naïve, more flexible and easily available as compared to bone marrow derived hematopoietic stem cells.

Umbilical Cord

Umbilical cord contains Wharton’s jelly that is a rich source of mesenchymal stem cells, which give rise to many of the “support tissues” in the body, including bone, cartilage, fat and muscle. They also have the potential to develop into nerve cells and are known to have a positive impact in reducing inflammation.

Umbilical cord is a preferred source of mesenchymal stem cells due to low immunogenicity levels and better transplantation success in allogenic transplants.

Platelet Rich Plasma

Cryo Stemcell is the pioneer in offering umbilical cord blood derived PRP banking service.

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is an evolving, versatile component of regenerative medicine. The concentrated platelets found in PRP contain huge reservoirs of bioactive proteins that can initiate connective tissue healing: tendon and ligament regeneration and repair, promote development of new blood vessels, and accelerate tissue repair and wound healing process. The therapeutic basis of PRP use in medicine is derived from the growth factor content and provisional matrix provided by the platelets themselves. The therapy has been evaluated with regard to its effect on acute and chronic tendinopathies, ligament rupture, acute fracture healing, bone non-unions, muscle injuries, degenerative joint disease, and other disorders, with successful outcome shown frequently. The use of PRP has been extensive albeit in many types of tissue injuries given its safety from immune rejections and ease-of-use.

Platelets from cord blood are a power house of growth factors and the cord blood plasma is found to contain 10 fold higher growth factors than adult plasma. These are discarded during the process of separation of stem cells from cord blood for stem cell banking. We are the first cord blood banking company to provide the unique service of PRP from cord blood. We have our own proprietary methodology for collecting and enriching platelets from cord blood while collecting stem cells in parallel which is resuspended in autologous cord blood plasma and cryopreserve them for future medical use. The PRP from cord blood in comparison to adult PRP is superior as it has higher number of potent growth factors, lower mitogenicity, stimulates increased rate of cell proliferation that contributes to its better therapeutic potential. As it is sourced from newborn, the chances of transmissible infections are reduced. Our methodology ensures that PRP produced is leukoreduced, therefore can be used safely for allogenic transplants with no rejection risks. It can be readily used in the outpatient clinics with only blood typing procedure performed. Although there is minimal evidence currently available, the use of cord blood PRP has increased, given its superior quality and low transplant rejections.

Umbilical Cord Blood PRP vs Peripheral Blood PRP

Characteristics PRP from Umbilical Cord Blood PRP from Peripheral Blood
Level of growth factors ++++ +
Mitogenicity ++++ +
Proliferation rate of stem cells ++++ +
Therapeutic potential ++++ +

Advantages of Umbilical Cord Blood PRP

  • Readily available whenever needed
  • Not painful as the cord blood is collected post delivery
  • 10-20 fold richer in growth factors and more efficient than peripheral blood
  • Can be retrieved multiple times and used at different time intervals without pricking the patient multiple times
  • Elimination of donor transmissible infections
  • Due to near fetal nature
    • These platelets are unexposed to drugs so the platelets are of better quality in terms of less activation and unaltered cytokine profile
    • Unlike adult blood, cord blood contains the optimal concentration of cytokines ensuring enhanced healing

Delivery-to-Cryopreservation Process

Once you have enrolled with Cryo Stemcell for preserving your baby’s umbilical cord blood and umbilical cord derived stem cells, a specially designed sample collection kit would be handed over to you. At the time of delivery, you would need to hand over the sample collection kit to your delivering doctor. The collection of umbilical cord blood and umbilical cord of your new born baby is safe and painless to the delivering mother and the baby.

After the childbirth, your baby’s umbilical cord is clamped and cut. A sterile needle is inserted into the umbilical cord to collect the umbilical cord blood. Post collection of umbilical cord blood, the umbilical cord will be cleaned and placed in a special storage device provided within the sample collection kit. The entire sample collection process takes about five to ten minutes.

Once collected, the sample is dispatched in the sample collection kit by our sample collection team using the services of a specialized medical courier services provider for further processing in our state-of-the-art laboratory. After the sample arrives at our lab, the cord blood would be tested for various infectious diseases (HIV, Hepatitis, Syphilis, Cytomegalovirus and HTLV I/II virus etc.) and upon ensuring the negative status of the sample, the umbilical cord blood and umbilical cord are processed in our Class-10000 clean room facility to isolate stem cells and PRP depending on the stem cell banking plan that you would have chosen.

Our laboratory operates 7 days a week, 365 days a year to process and cryopreserve stem cells from umbilical cord blood and umbilical cord as soon as they reach our lab. Once, the stem cells are isolated, they are transferred into multiple cryo vials (4 cryo vials for umbilical cord blood stem cells, 1 cryo vial for umbilical cord derived stem cells and 1 cryo vial for PRP) for cryopreservation in liquid phase nitrogen.

A comprehensive report detailing the cell count of hematopoietic stem cells, mesenchymal stem cells and PRP along with the cell viability percentage would be shared with you within few weeks from the time of sample collection. A unique alphanumeric code is assigned for each sample for efficient tracking and retrieval of stem cells in future.

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