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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