Once parents have decided to preserve their child’s umbilical cord stem cells, the next question is how much material should be preserved? Previously, only the umbilical cord blood was preserved, but research has shown great potential from the umbilical cord tissue itself.
Whilst umbilical cord blood is rich in Hematopoietic stem cells (HSC), the cord tissue is rich in Mesenchymal (MSC) which has another set of potential medical applications. Cells4Life cord tissue storage keeps the umbilical cord intact, retaining the tissue and the stems cells it contains.
Why Save the Umbilical Cord Tissue?
Researchers have discovered that the cord tissue can provide an unlimited source of multipotent mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) (DT, 2015). Umbilical cord tissue also contains many Very Small Embryonic-Like Stem Cells (VSELs). These cells may be used in the future for regenerative medicine and tissue engineering applications. Regenerative medicine is seen as the next major innovation in healthcare and will allow the replacement or repair of damaged or diseased human organs, cells and tissue.
Cord tissue stem cells can only be collected at the time of birth, so it is an important opportunity to secure your child’s future health. By preserving these cells, you are also ensuring your child has access to stem cells that are a 100% genetic match and will not be rejected after a transplant.
Because of their multipotent/pluripotent cell type, umbilical cord stem cells can be used to create a number of other cell types including bone, tissue, cartilage, skin and ligaments. These stem cells are very adaptable and will be the key for regenerative medical procedures. The potential regenerative medical therapies currently being researched cover a broad spectrum:
- cardiovascular regeneration;
- neurological treatments;
- orthopaedic treatments;
- and ophthalmic treatments.
There are also a number of clinical trials currently underway using cord tissue and cord blood stem cells. These clinical trials are targeting conditions including:
- Macular degeneration
- Spinal cord injury
- Heart disease and other cardiovascular conditions
- Cerebral palsy
- Burns, ulcers, broken bones and various injuries
- Various genetic conditions
- Autoimmune disorders
- Breast cancer
- Parkinson’s disease
The cord tissue also contains a number of human growth hormones, perivascular cells and vascular endothelial cells which may be of therapeutic use in the future.
Researchers believe that many of these medical treatments will be commercially available within the next 5-10 years (Ratcliffe, Glen, Naing & Williams, 2013). By preserving a piece of the umbilical cord of your child, you may give them an advantage should they require a regenerative medical procedure.
Storing Umbilical Cord Tissue
Cells4Life are experts at handling and processing the cord tissue and the cord blood stem cells. Shortly after birth, the cord is retrieved by specialised medical courier and sent to our UK laboratory for processing and storage.
WATCH VIDEO: HOW CORD BLOOD & CORD TISSUE BANKING WORKS
DT, H. (2015). Umbilical cord tissue mesenchymal stem cells: characterisation and clinical applications. - PubMed - NCBI. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Retrieved 12 April 2015, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23895058
Ratcliffe, E., Glen, K., Naing, M., & Williams, D. (2013). Current status and perspectives on stem cell-based therapies undergoing clinical trials for regenerative medicine: case studies. British Medical Bulletin, 108(1), 73-94. doi:10.1093/bmb/ldt034