Cord Blood Banking | What Are Cord Blood Stem Cells?

Cord Blood Banking | What Are Cord Blood Stem Cells?


Cord Blood Banking


Learn What Are Cord Blood Stem Cells

What Are Cord Blood Stem Cells?



Cord blood stem cells are cells obtained from the human umbilical cord and placenta after child birth. These cells are easy to collect and store. Cord blood is a rich source of hematopoietic stem cells (cells which differentiate in blood components) and includes cells of the immune system.

Cord blood stem cells are unique

A large component of stem cells found in umbilical cord is hematopoietic cells (HSC). Presence of HSC makes umbilical cord blood a suitable alternative to bone marrow transplant. Cord blood transplant is advantageous for it doesn't mandate stringent donor-recipient matching. A primary disadvantage of cord blood cells are that they are slow growers once grafted.

However, cord blood cells are used in regenerative medicine in combination with other stem cell types. Cord blood stem cells possess a characteristic ability to release signals for internal cell repair. Such chemicals are grouped as cytokines and the intracellular signaling is called paracrine effect.

Cord blood cells in the past have been used in the treatment of cerebral palsy in infants. There have been several reports on the benefits of umbilical cord blood in infants suffering from neurological injury.

Potency of stem cells



Stem cells are divided into categories based on their potency. The most potent stem cells are embryonic stem cells which bear the ability to divide into various cell types in the body.

" Pluripotent cells: These cells divide into almost all cell types. A typical example of pluripotent stem cells is the embryonic cells which are derived from endoderm, mesoderm and ectoderm layer of germ cells. Such cells are formed at the beginning stage of stem cell differentiation.

" Totipotent cells: Totipotent stem cells are formed before pluripotent cells. These are created soon after the formation of the zygote. They possess the ability to divide into all cell types.

" Multipotent cells: Multipotent cells are stem cells which are limited to differentiating into closely related cell types. Hematopoietic stem cells are multipotent which divide to form platelets, white and red blood cells.

" Unipotent cells: These cells are limited to the production of a single cell type like the adult muscle stem cells.

" Oligopotent cells: Oligopotent cells are similar to unipotent cells but differ in the ability to produce a closely related group of cells. Myeloid and lymphoid stem cells are oligopotent.

Umbilical cord stem cells are multipotent cells and are limited to producing blood corpuscles. Till recently, the ability to alter the potency of umbilical cord cells was poorly understood. Now, through animal studies the possibility of altering the course of differentiation of stem cells is revealed. Umbilical cord cells, through current understanding, are limited to the production of a single cell type. A stem cell capable of producing multiple cell types is yet to be discovered in umbilical cord blood. Research continues to understand the full potential of stem cells through the use of embryonic stem cells. Cord blood is highly popular because it can be banked without loss of potency. bone marrow transplant recipients stem cell cord bloodcord blood banking cord blood bankcord blood definitionCord blood banking baby cord blood banking cord blood banking banking cord blood best cord blood banking cost blood banking cost cord blood banking cord blood banking cord blood banking

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