August 21, 2015

Stem cells from cord blood that are collected by family cord banking services such as CariCord can be used to treat more than 80 diseases, while researchers are continually looking for more ways to utilize stem cells collected through umbilical cord blood banking. One of the recent discoveries that researchers have made is to use stem cells to create functional liver cells. This had been attempted unsuccessfully in the past, but the results were not reliable enough to declare that one of the cord blood and cord tissue benefits is liver cell restoration.

Medical experts will tell you that the liver plays a vital role in the human metabolism, when it comes to both food and medical drugs. As the first major organ to feel the effects of drugs, it is a crucial part of the drug toxicity testing process. Currently, liver cells can only be obtained through organ donation as their is no way to effectively produce them through public umbilical cord blood banking, though that could change in the future. This limited supply results in pharmaceutical companies spending more than $1 billion annually on liver cells. If liver cells production became one of the cord blood and cord tissue banking benefits, it could be a huge breakthrough for the pharmaceutical industry.

A team at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Alexander Grass Center for Bioengineering found a way to create functional liver cells from human stem cells, creating an unlimited supply for drug companies to use. "This is quite a revolution for pharmaceutical drug discovery," said senior study author Professor Yaakov Nahmias. "While other groups have been able to produce liver cells before us, their cells showed little functional activity, and could not be reliably used for drug discovery. In fact, up until now stem cell-derived hepatocytes showed little ability to predict clinical outcome."

Professor Nahmias created these liver cells by observing how the liver grows in the human body by studying newborns. By observing how the liver in a baby works, the team at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem was able to ascertain what the liver produces in order to start the metabolic process. In the future, this could be outstanding news for the cord blood and umbilical cord tissue banking industry, as liver cell production could become one of the cord tissue banking benefits.

If you are not familiar with umbilical cord blood and cord tissue banking by family cord blood services, contact CariCord for more information on saving your child’s valuable stem cells, which currently have great potential and will have even greater potential in the future. CariCord is a family cord banking service that offers both public and private cord blood and cord tissue banking for expecting parents that have recently discovered the numerous cord tissue banking benefits.

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