Stem cell collection after birth.
- What are stem cells?
- Why are they collected at birth?
- How are they collected?
- What’s the difference between cord blood and cord tissue?
- What can stem cells be used for?
- What research is out there on stem cell collection?
All of these will be answered in this post.
What are stem cells?
Stem cells are biological cells found in the body. Stem cells have the potential to develop into various cell types in the body such as; blood, bone, tissue, or organs. They serve as a repair and maintenance system for other body cells and the blood and immune systems.
Why are stem cells collected at birth?
Umbilical cord blood is the blood left over in the placenta and in the umbilical cord after the birth of the baby. This blood is a rich source of these potentially life saving stem cells.
After birth is a once in a lifetime opportunity to collect these stem cells which can be used to potentially treat a serious illness in the future.
The difference between cord blood and cord tissue
Collection of both cord and blood tissue is quick and painless.
- The umbilical cord and placenta after birth is where cord blood is found
- Cord blood contains Hematopoietic Stem Cells (HSC) which develop into blood related cells
- After the umbilical cord has been clamped and cut, a specially trained healthcare professional will collect the remaining blood from the cord
- The cord lining and Wharton’s jelly which is found inside the umbilical cord is a source of a different type of stem cell
- Cord tissue contains Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSC) which develop into a variety of cell types including bone, cartilage and muscle cells
- After the safe delivery of baby and the placenta, a 4-6 inch segment of the umbilical cord is cut and safely stored
What are stem cells used for?
Stem cells are already being used in treatment and for research in a wide range of conditions and illnesses including but not limited to:
- Cerebral Palsy
- Sickle Cell Disease
- Hodgkin and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
- Spinal cord injuries
The following disease areas are currently in clinical trial stages for cord tissue, so effectively, we could see advancements in these areas in the future:
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Over 40,000 people have successfully stored stem cells with Smart Cells up to now; however the industry is still relatively unknown and is often subject to misinformation.
In a bid to increase awareness and understanding of stem cell collection at birth, Smart Cells have created an informative infographic. The infographic includes all the information within this blog post!
People have been working with Smart Cells, a stem cell collection and storage company, since 2000 to store their stem cells for the future health of their children and family. In this time, they have reached over 40,000 customers.
With the information in a graphic and easy-to-read format, they hope to reach more potential customers in order to broaden their understanding about what collection of cord blood and cord tissue at birth can offer them and to dispel any myths around it.
Here is the informative infographic designed by Smart Cells which can be saved for future reference:
What do you think? Is stem cell collection something you would consider?
If you have any questions you would like to ask Smart Cells then please do leave a comment. Smart Cells are in the process of organising a tour of their facility where I may be able to interview one of the team and ask any questions you may have!
This post was written in collaboration with Smart Cells.