September 01, 2015

Scientists at the Ohio State University recently reported that an almost fully-formed human brain has been grown in a lab. Engineered from human skin cells, the brain is roughly the size of a pencil eraser. Should this brain become fully formed, it will be the first of its kind. Rene Anand, of the Ohio State University, Columbus, claimed that it is the most complete human brain model yet to be developed. Anand and his associates claimed that they have reproduced 99% of the brain’s diverse cell types and genes, and that their brain also contains a spinal cord, retina, and signaling circuitry. The team of scientists at Ohio State hope this project could transform our understanding of neurological disease.

Though it is not conscious, this miniature brain could have many potential uses, just as umbilical cord blood banking through family cord banking services such as CariCord has many potential uses. The brain resembles that of a 5-week-old fetus, and could possibly be used to aid in the study of developmental diseases, and potentially test drugs that would be used to treat brain conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Anand claimed that the brain was created by converting adult skin cells into pluripotent cells. These are stem cells that can be programmed to convert into any tissue within the human body. In a similar manner, stem cells collected by family cord blood banking services could be differentiated to form new cells. It takes about 12 weeks for a team to create a brain that replicates the maturity level of a 5-week-old fetus. To further develop this brain, the team at Ohio State would need a network of blood vessels that they currently have yet to produce. According to Anand, to proceed further in their research would require an artificial heart to help the brain develop further.

Skeptics of this research will be comforted to know that the ethical concerns are “non-existent,” according to Anand. “We don’t have any sensory stimuli entering the brain. This brain is not thinking in any way,” he stated.

For now, Anand and his team are focusing on using their brain for military research, primarily to understand how post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries affect soldiers returning home from deployment. Should their research prove to be fruitful, this project could revolutionize personalized medicine. Anand reported that those with inherited diseases could provide a sample of skin cells, which experts could then use to create a brain to determine what is going on within the actual brain of the patient. Like umbilical cord blood and tissue banking from family cord banking services, this could prove to be greatly beneficial to many patients in the future. Though umbilical cord tissue banking does not have tangible benefits today, research is continually advancing through research and clinical trials to find new uses of cord tissue that may be available for human treatment in the future.

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August 28, 2015

A recent study evaluated postinfarction function recovery driven by a three-dimensional fibrin patch composed of mesenchymal stem cells derived from umbilical cord blood, which can be collected by family cord blood services. While mesenchymal cells are typically collected through umbilical cord tissue banking, they can also be a benefit of cord blood banking. What is cord tissue? It is the physical umbilical cord itself, and researchers are currently studying potential future cord tissue banking benefits.

This study involved restoring myocardial cell slippage and limiting ventricular remodeling after myocardial infarction. A 3D fibrin patch filled with mesenchymal stem cells collected from umbilical cord blood banking was used to induce cardiac function recovery after myocardial infarction. The patch adhered well to the heart in this study, and the implanted cells also formed new and functional microvasculature that connected the fibrin-cell patch to both the subjacent myocardial tissue and the host circulatory system. Therefore, positive results were shown for using an engineered 3D fibrin patch containing stem cells from family cord banking for treating myocardial wounds. This could be one of the cord blood and cord tissue benefits of the future, as stem cell research continues to progress.

Many heart diseases, including myocardial infarction, continue to an end stage of ischemic heart failure. The only clearly defined treatment for this type of heart failure is a cardiac transplant, which is limited by the number of available donors, as well as potential graft rejection. This is why an engineered treatment method from umbilical cord blood banking could prove to be quite beneficial. Family cord blood services such as CariCord are very excited about this ongoing research, as postinfarction function recovery could soon be added to the list of cord blood and cord tissue banking benefits.

If you are an expecting parent and are not familiar with umbilical cord blood banking, we strongly recommend you explore the many benefits of this service, even if you do not ultimately choose family cord banking from us. Umbilical cord tissue banking is an additional option that many parents also value. What is cord tissue? It is the actual umbilical cord, which can be collected in addition to the cord blood contained herein. Both cord blood and cord tissue have many benefits, as they are rich sources of different types of stem cells. These stem cells taken from cord blood can currently be used to treat more than 80 diseases, while research is currently underway to develop potential future treatments utilizing cord tissue.


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August 26, 2015

Stem cells collected by family cord blood services through the process of umbilical cord blood banking have many possible uses, as they can be used to treat more than 80 diseases, with new ones to be discovered in the future through stem cell researchers who have answered the question, “What is cord tissue?” Cord tissue is the physical umbilical cord itself, and it offers a different kind of stem cells than cord blood.

Treatments using stem cells collected through family cord banking have shown to be a potentially effective strategy of treating strokes, which is a great reason to choose umbilical cord blood banking through CariCord, one of the family cord blood services. A recent study of the cord blood and cord tissue banking benefits sought to discover whether or not intranasal administration of mesenchymal stem cells collected through umbilical cord tissue banking had any affect in rats after a stroke occurrence. After being subjected to middle cerebral artery occlusion, these rats were treated by a stem cell infusion daily for 14 days.

After the study was completed, it was shown that this new post-stroke strategy could become one of the cord tissue banking benefits presented to expecting parents by family cord banking services. The treatments using mesenchymal stem cells via intranasal routine was shown to make a positive contribution to vascular remodeling in the ischemic brain, which plays an important role in functional outcome after a stroke. Though more research is needed to determine if this could be affective in humans, treatment of stroke could become one of the major benefits of umbilical cord tissue banking.

If you are still wondering, “What is cord tissue?”, check out the FAQ section of our website for more information on this offering from our family cord banking menu of services.


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August 24, 2015

Umbilical cord blood banking researchers have published several reports pertaining to the isolation and identification of mesenchymal stem cells from the different anatomical regions of the umbilical cord, the contents of which can be used for family cord banking. While cord blood contains primary hematopoietic stem cells, the umbilical cord itself primarily contains mesenchymal stem cells. Because there may be great potential future cord tissue banking benefits, many families choose umbilical cord tissue banking in addition to cord blood banking from family cord blood services.

What is cord tissue? The physical umbilical cord that connects a newborn child to its birth mother, which is suitable for standardizing methods of mesenchymal stem cell isolation, as the umbilical cord is a uniform source with high numbers of these cells. If umbilical cord tissue banking is not chosen by parents who desire to take advantage of the cord tissue banking benefits, the umbilical cord is considered to be medical waste and discarded after childbirth. However, due to an increased demand of mesenchymal stem cells in the field of umbilical medicine, as well as an increased awareness of potential cord tissue benefits, public and private family cord banking should be considered by all expecting parents, especially those who do not have an understanding about what cord tissue is.

Recently, a research study presented a modulated explant/enzyme method to isolate the greatest possible number of mesenchymal stem cells from the entire umbilical cord, which is greatly valuable to parents who utilize family cord blood services that provide umbilical cord blood banking. This method is used to establish the isolation of these stem cells from different anatomical regions of the umbilical cord, and it could collect between 6 and 10 million cells during an 8 to 10 day period.

The study states the following: After 3 passages, we could obtain 8-10x108 cells in 28-30 days. Cells isolated by this method express CD73, CD90, CD105 and CD44, but they do not express hematopoietic markers CD34 and CD45 or the endothelial marker CD31. The genes SOXS2, OCT4 and NANOG are expressed in isolated mesenchymal stem cells. The capacity of these stem cells to differentiate into adipocytes and osteocytes highlights their application in regenerative medicine. This method is simple, reproducible, and cost-efficient. Moreover, this method is suitable for the production of a large number of high-quality mesenchymal stem cells from the umbilical cord in less than a month, to be used for cell therapy in an 80 kg person.


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