January 15, 2016
Umbilical cord blood researchers are continually discovering new ways that stem cells collected by cord blood services can be utilized in human treatments. One of the unique properties of these cells is their ability to differentiate into different cell types, which means cells taken from cord blood can be used as the “building blocks” for the growth of other cells in the human body.
Recently, researchers at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, associated with Harvard University and Harvard’s School of Engineering, discovered a way to use stem cells to create bone cells. This groundbreaking research could be extremely useful in regeneration of human bones that are in need of healing.
This research was led by David Mooney, a core faculty member at the Wyss Institute. Mooney was quoted as saying that the recent work provides new insight into the biology of regeneration, allowing researchers to design materials that actively promote the regeneration of tissue. This research was published in Nature Materials on November 30, 2015.
While this research is still ongoing, it is further evidence of the numerous uses of cord blood that are being discovered. Though it is a relatively new field of medicine first discovered in the 1980s, cord blood has a long track record of being useful in the treatment of more than 80 diseases. CariCord’s public cord blood banking service, the University of Colorado Cord Blood Bank, has released 700+ units of cord blood for use at 120 treatment centers across the globe.
January 13, 2016
Multiple sclerosis, widely known as MS, is a degenerative disease that causes an individual’s immune system to attack the protective layer around nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, causing scarring that disrupts the nerve’s ability to function. If the scarring and inflammation is not treated, the neurodegeneration will become permanent.
An ongoing study had individuals in the United Kingdom who suffer from MS treated with a combination of chemotherapy and stem cells harvested from their blood. The hematopoietic stem cells used in the treatment are very similar to those found in an infant’s umbilical cord blood. The immune systems of the patients were destroyed using chemotherapy and rebuilt via autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. This resulted in the immune system being rebooted so that it would no longer target the nervous systems of the patients.
Nearly all the patients involved in the treatment have shown drastic improvement in their condition. Some of the patients who were paralyzed have even regained the ability to walk. The treatment appears to render MS inert, and there is hope that with continued treatment a patient will no longer have to worry about relapses. It is possible that the transplant could prove to be a permanent solution as the study continues to monitor the individuals, but at this time the long-term benefits of the treatment are still being monitored. Also, while these patients showed improvement, it is important to note that not all types of MS may be treatable with a stem cell transplant.
It is life-changing treatments like these that prove the unquestionable benefits of saving your child’s umbilical cord blood. Multiple sclerosis is just one condition out of many that has been found to be susceptible to treatment with hematopoietic stem cells. When considering the long-term health and well-being of your child, it never hurts to hedge one’s bets. Cord blood banking and cord tissue banking can mean all the difference if your child is stricken with an illness. Browse our website or the Parent's Guide to Cord Blood to learn more about how you can safeguard your child’s future with us.
November 23, 2015
Once the non-intrusive process of collecting family cord blood for banking is completed by your health care professional at the birth of your child, the collected unit of cord blood is transported via a medical courier services to CariCord’s secure laboratory, on the Anschutz Medical Campus near Denver, Colorado for processing, testing, and cryogenic storage.
As your family cord blood banking service of choice, CariCord understands that your baby’s cells we collect are irreplaceable. Therefore, we go to great lengths to protect them. Unlike some private family cord banking services, we use insulated containers to transport cord blood at an optimal temperature during shipment, regardless of outside weather conditions.
While some family cord blood services require you to make your own arrangements with a medical courier, CariCord handles all of these details for you, so that you can focus on what matters most: attending to your newborn child. We work with experienced couriers to get your baby’s sealed cord blood and the necessary paperwork from the hospital to our laboratory in Colorado, for processing.
Once it arrives, the unit of cord blood is processed and tested for total cell count, sterility, infectious disease and other factors. CariCord saves more cells because our highly-trained staff uses precise methods while processing that ensure excellent cell life. We use the same processing, materials, and lab techs that are used for public units of cord blood licensed by the FDA, which means our private cord blood bank operates at a higher standard than most family cord blood banks.
Once it is deemed up to standard for storage, the cordblood is cryogenically stored in the vapor phase of liquid nitrogen, which preserves the stem cells until they are needed. Our processing standards ensure that your baby’s cord blood is at its highest quality, which makes a successful transplant more likely if it is needed in the future.
CariCord takes quality assurance very seriously and has a program of bar code labeling and repeated checking of the cord blood units, to ensure accurate identification. The frozen cord blood is stored in continuously temperature monitored, double-locked, stainless steel liquid nitrogen vapor phase Dewars in our state-of-the-art facility. These freezers are of the highest security, as the double locks require two technicians to be present in order to access cord blood units.
November 20, 2015
CariCord’s family cord blood processing methods are unmatched in the industry, allowing us to save more of your baby’s valuable stem cells and umbilical cord tissue. When you are reviewing cord blood banking prices, remember that there is no substitute for quality, which is clearly offered by CariCord’s services.
When you go to the hospital to give birth to your baby, CariCord gives you a kit with all of the necessary materials to collect the cordblood and cord tissue, if you choose this service. After delivery, your doctor will perform the collection after the cord has been clamped and cut. The collection process involves stringent cleansing of the cord prior to collection of the cord blood. The blood is then drawn out of the umbilical cord via a closed, gravity bag system. This is the preferred method for collection because it minimizes contamination.
In general, there are two options as to when the cord blood is collected – either before or after the delivery of the placenta. In the post-delivery method, your doctor will collect your baby’s umbilical cord blood after the placenta has been delivered. In the pre-delivery in-utero method, your health care professional draws the cord blood while the placenta is still in the womb.
The cord blood itself can be collected by one of two methods as well: either through a closed system with a sterile bag or an open system, drawing the blood out with a syringe. Due to a lower risk of bacterial and fungal contamination, CariCord’s family cord blood services only provide the materials for the closed system collection.
Once the time comes to collect the cordblood, after the umbilical cord is cut, your medical professional will insert a sterile needle into the umbilical vein. This allows the cord blood to drain into a sterile bag utilizing gravity. The bag also contains anticoagulant. The entire process typically takes less than 10 minutes and is quite non-intrusive.