Once parents decide to invest in their child’s future by preserving the cord blood, there are some important decisions to make. Not only should parents decide which stem cell bank to use, they also need to assess the technologies involved in preserving the cord blood sample. One of the most important decisions is choosing how the umbilical cord blood is processed before being preserved.
What is Volume-Reduced Cord Blood Storage?
Volume-reduced cord blood storage involves using special solutions or technology to separate the high quality stem cells from other cells. By retaining only the highest quality of stem cells, storage is made easier.
Initially, solutions like Hydroxyethyl starch (HES) sedimentation were used to separate umbilical cord blood stem cells from other types of cells. In recent years, automatic devices SEPAX and AXP have been developed to automate the entire process in laboratories. Research has discovered that the automatic devices are preferred because of their closed systems, higher reproducibility and less chance of human error (Solves P, 2015).
Here are the pros and cons of volume-reduced cord blood storage:
Pros of Volume-Reduced Cord Blood Storage
1. Volume-reduced cord blood is closer to its ready-to-use state - After the volume-reduction process, the stem cells are frozen in a ready-to-use form. The stem cells only need to be thawed to be injected or manipulated into forming other cells.
2. Small volumes of blood are easier to preserve - Freezing large volumes of blood can be more difficult to manage.
3. It is cheaper - Because the volume is reduced, the storage space required is small so the cost of maintenance is lower.
Cons of Volume-Reduced Cord Blood Storage
1. Some volume reduction methods lose valuable cells - Some research has indicated that 40% or more of the progenitor cells are lost when using chemicals to achieve volume-reduction (Nature.com, 2015). The research found better results when double collection (extracting stem cells twice) was used. While automated processes have a higher retention rate, it is still possible to lose valuable cells.
2. Other valuable components of the umbilical cord blood are lost - The umbilical cord blood contains a wide variety of stem cells, hormones and growth factors. A lot of these valuable components are lost when using volume reduction.
3. Less potential for regenerative medicine - Research is ongoing in the field of regenerative medicine, but initial findings suggest that cord blood stem cells may be of use. By using current volume-reduction technologies, your child might miss out on potential future medical breakthroughs using the stem cells removed in the volume reduction process.
Cells4Life Provides Parents with More Cord Blood Storage Options
Cells4Life offers both Volume-Reduced and Whole Cord Blood Storage so parents can choose which storage method they prefer. If you are still unsure about which option to choose, simply contact us for further information.
The Cells4Life Gold Service uses volume-reduction to extract the maximum number of haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) from the umbilical cord blood. These types of cells are already used in nearly 80 medical procedures and are especially useful for treating leukaemia, blood disorders and immune system disorders. Our automated recovery system has the highest published cell recovery rates in the industry: 96%.
The Cells4Life Platinum Service cryopreserves every stem cell type found in the umbilical cord. It also stores growth factors (including Erythropoietin; GCSF; Cord Blood Factor; Interferon; IGF-1) and hormones found in the umbilical cord. The platinum service processing technique is one of minimal manipulation, ensuring a 100% cell recovery rate.
Nature.com,. (2015). Retrieved 8 April 2015, from nature.com/bmt/journal/v27/n4/pdf/1702807a.pdf?origin=publication_detail
Solves P, e. (2015). Volume reduction in routine cord blood banking. - PubMed - NCBI. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Retrieved 8 April 2015, from ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20528760