Monday, 28 December 2015

Steps For Collecting And Preserving Umbilical Cord Blood and Tissue Stem Cells

Umbilical cord blood stem cell banking is rapidly becoming popular among the expectant parents. Being a hot topic of discussion among the scientific and medical community, cord blood banking have been gaining immense popularity across the globe. Though the private cord blood banking prices are higher, chances your family will use the blood is low. Doctors often encourage the expectant parents to donate their newborn’s umbilical cord tissue and cord blood. Donations made to a public cord blood bank are used for several life-saving stem cell transplants and regenerative medicine therapy research. But if your family has a medical history of genetically inherited diseases such as leukaemia, lymphomas, sickle-cell anaemia, immune deficiency disorders, aplastic anaemia and thalassaemia, then you may consider banking your baby’s cord blood privately. Seeking the guidance of your family doctor is strongly recommended before taking an informed decision. 

What are the major steps involved in the cord blood stem cell banking process? If you have decided to bank your infant’s cord blood and umbilical cord tissue, then it is essential to complete the enrollment process in the early stages of pregnancy. Choose a reputed private cord blood bank and sign up for their services. A collection kit will be provided to you upon enrollment. Make it a point to inform your doctor about your cord blood banking decision. Also, remember to carry the kit with you when leaving the hospital for delivery. Right after the child birth, the cord blood and tissue is collected to the sterile bag.  Collection process is simple, safe and quick, as it neither poses any risk to mother or baby. Collected samples are couriered to the cord blood bank through specialized logistics for ensuring safe delivery. As soon as the samples reach the bank, they are individually tested and processed. Stem cells harvested from the cord blood are mixed with cryopreservatives for long term storage. Later, these stem cells are frozen down slowly and then placed inside large stainless steel tanks supplied with liquid nitrogen so that the stem cells remain preserved for decades.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Stem Cell Research – Some FAQs

You might have heard about the advancements surrounding the stem cell research and increasing cord blood pricing issues. You may wonder how stem cell differs from the general human cells and why they are the subject of such vigorous debate. So let us explore more by checking the answers to some frequently asked questions about stem cells. 

What are stem cells?

We can say stem cells are the body’s raw materials – the cells from which specialized cells are
generated. They have a remarkable potential to renew themselves through cell division which help in internal repairing. In some organs such as gut and bone marrow, the damaged cells are repaired and replaced by the stem cells on a routine basis. Another important characteristic that distinguishes stem cells from other cell types is its capability to become an organ-specific cell under certain physiologic or experimental conditions. 

Why Stem cells are important and what are the benefits of stem cell research?

Unique regenerative abilities of the stem cells offer promising medical solutions in treating several debilitating conditions. According to researchers and doctors, the stem cell studies helps in availing a better understanding about how diseases develop in a human body. Regenerative medicine therapy is a remarkable initiative that revolves around the benefits of stem cell research. Since stem cells have the potential to repair and renew, it can be used to treat damaged tissues in people. Drug testing is another notable application of stem cell. Human stem cells are programmed into tissue-specific cells for testing new drugs. Safety and quality of investigational drugs are tested using such programmed stem cells in laboratory. 

What are the sources of stem cells? 

Embryonic stem cells, as the name indicates are found in the embryos that are three to five days old. Bone marrow, fat and most of the adult tissues have adult stem cells. Perinatal stem cells are found in the amniotic fluid and baby’s cord blood. And that is why the medical communities are encouraging the banking of baby’s cord blood and tissue these days.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Ethics of Stem Cell Banking

The field of stem cell research and regenerative medicine has been advancing at a rapid rate over the past decade. For those who are wondering about the hype surrounding stem cell biology - stem cells or master cells have the remarkable property to self-replicate throughout the life of the organism. Moreover, they can give rise to specialized cells which further take the place of damaged or dead cells. Unlike other mature cells that are permanently committed to their function, stem cells have a unique property to renew themselves and develop into specialized cells of the body. Major sources of stem cells include bone marrow, umbilical cord, embryo and adipose tissue. 

Scientists around the world have been striving hard to take advantage of stem cell’s unique
characteristics in order to apply in clinical applications and therapeutics. Stem cell banking is the practice of harvesting stem cells for long storage for transplants or research purpose. However, embryonic stem cell banking has steeped in ethical controversy centered on embryo destruction. That is where the role of umbilical cord stem cell banking takes the limelight. Umbilical cord blood, once discarded as per medical status, is now treasured by the medical communities. The cord blood that provides nourishment to the growing fetus is a great source of stem cells. Nowadays, the umbilical cord blood and tissue is collected right after the child birth. 

Expectant parents have the choice to either store or donate their newborn’s cord blood and umbilical cord tissue. Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) present in the cord blood is used as an effective alternative to bone marrow transplantation whereas Mesenchymal StemCells (MSCs) in umbilical cord tissue can potentially be used in a variety of regenerative medicine and tissue engineering applications. Paying annual private cord blood banking prices may prove worthy for the families with a history of immune deficiency diseases, leukemia, lymphomas and similar conditions.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Why Save Your Baby’s Cord Blood?

Why save baby cord blood? What are its benefits? Is it worth the money? Blood present in the baby’s umbilical cord contains stem cells. Multipotent adult stem cells present in the umbilical cord blood make it a precious resource in the medical and research field. And that is why baby’s cord blood, which was once discarded as medical waste, is now collected and saved for long term storage. The first human transplant using cord stem cells was performed in 1988. It was for treating Fanconi anemia – an inherited disease that mainly affects the bone marrow. Cord blood that was used to treat only one disease at that time can now treat nearly 80 diseases.

Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) present in the baby cord blood can be used to restore the damaged blood cells in our body. Developed from mesodermal hemangioblast cells, HSCs are self-renewing progenitor cells that has the potential to generate multitude of cell types found in the blood stream including red blood cells, white blood cells and megakaryocytes. Hematologic and nonhematologic cancers, autoimmune disorders, various forms of anemia and immunodeficiency disorders can be treated with the cord blood Hematopoietic stem cell transplants (HSCTs). Why cord blood stem cell transplants are gaining wide acceptance in the medical community? Cord blood stem cell transplants require a less-stringent HLA match and carry a lower risk of graft-vs-host disease. Moreover, the transplant outcomes are more effective and better with cord blood applications when compared to other transplant methods. 

Stem cells are not only present in the cord blood, but also in the surrounding tissue.  Umbilical cord tissue is a rich source of Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). This type of multipotent connective tissue cells can develop into a variety of cell types such as bone cells, cartilage cells, muscle cells and fat cells. Many scientists are striving harder to discover the cord tissue benefits and applications. Currently research and clinical trials are going on to better understand the potential of cord tissue. According to the scientists, cord tissue MSCs can be used to treat Liver fibrosis, Parkinson’s disease, Rheumatoid arthritis and lung cancer to name a few.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Use of Cord Blood and Cord Tissue Stem Cells

From diagnostic tools to treatment modalities, innovative advancements in the medical technology have been offering promising solutions to increase the quality of patient’s life and cure the root cause of debilitating conditions effectively. Introduction of umbilical cord blood stem cell transplants is a case in point. Umbilical cord which connects the mother to a developing fetus has mainly two layers – an outer layer of smooth muscle and inner layer made from gelatinous Wharton’s jelly. The cord has one vein and two arteries. Vein supplies oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to the fetus whereas arteries take away the nutrient depleted and deoxygenated blood from the fetus.

Blood from the umbilical cord is an abundant source of multipotent Haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and can be used to treat a number of life threatening conditions. Moreover, it is also used for the regenerative medicine research and clinical trials. Not just the cord blood (CB), but the umbilical cord tissue also contains Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Currently, HSCs are used to treat more than 80 diseases including leukemias, lymphomas, anemias and Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID). On the other hand, umbilical cord tissue is not yet used in the medical applications or clinical practice. However, researchers firmly believe that the cord tissue’s MSCs has the potential to treat spinal cord injuries, heart disease, arthritis, stroke, alzheimer’s and type 1 diabetes.  Several clinical trials and studies are underway to explore the promising applications and therapeutic benefits of cord tissue MSCs. And that is why medical communities consider umbilical cord blood and tissue as a precious resource. 

If you are an expectant parent, then you may either choose to bank your newborn’s cord blood or donate it. You should discuss the matter with your family doctor and family member before taking a final decision. Families with a medical history of inherited diseases may opt for private cord blood banking. No matter whether you decide to bank or donate your newborn’s CB, choosing a reputed cord blood bank is significant.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

All About Umbilical Cord Blood

Placenta and umbilical cord are the two crucial support systems of a healthy pregnancy. Placenta not only provides nourishment to the growing fetus but also takes away the waste from the fetus to mother’s system for excretion.  The cord structure that connects placenta to the fetus is called umbilical cord. Known as the lifeline between mother and baby, umbilical cord carries oxygenated blood from placenta to baby through its vein and takes away deoxygenated blood from baby to placenta through its arteries. 

Blood present in the umbilical cord, which was once considered as a medical waste, is now known to be a valuable resource. Abundant presence of stem cells in the newborn’s umbilical cord blood (CB) makes it a lifesaving resource and that is why the medical community is encouraging the storage of cord blood stem cells. Used to treat more than 70 types of diseases including leukemia, lymphoma, sickle-cell disease, metabolic disorders and some inherited disorders, newborn’s umbilical cord blood holds a promising future in regenerative medicine therapies. 

Several clinical trials are still underway, where scientists and researchers are striving harder to unlock and tap into the potential of cord blood and cord tissue stem cells. Unlike the bone marrow stem cell harvesting, cord blood collection and stem cell banking is a painless procedure that doesn’t require any invasive methods. Easy and quick CB collection carried out immediately after the delivery neither hurts the mother nor the baby. Expectant parents may check out informative cord blood banking videos and webinar sessions to explore the benefits and downsides of CB. 

The first successful cord blood stem cell transplant took place in 1988 at Hospital Saint-Louis in Paris. Performed for treating Fanconi's anemia, this transplantation was a new milestone in the history of stem cell research. The patient was a five year old boy named Matthew Farrow and he received the donor stem cells from his newborn baby sister. Since then, cord blood stem cell banking and donations have reported a surging growth and popularity.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Is Private Cord Blood Banking Worth the Money?

An expectant parent needs to take a number of important decisions in order to ensure the future health of their child. What to do with the newborn’s cord blood is a case in point. Blood present in the umbilical cord is an abundant source of stem cells which makes it a valuable lifesaving resource. It can be used to treat an array of debilitating conditions such as leukaemia, lymphoma and anaemia to mention a few. And that is why cord blood banking have been gaining wide acceptance like never before. With the remarkable advancements in the stem cell research, the field of cord blood stem cell technology is all geared up to transform the regenerative medicine in many ways. Expectant parents can discard it, donate it to a public cord blood bank or store it in private cord blood banks

You need to take several factors into consideration before taking a decision. Having a look at your family medical history is one of them. Check whether there are any heritable diseases running in your family that can be treated with cord blood. Have a brief discussion with your family members and seek the guidance of your family doctor. Private cord blood banks store your baby’s cord blood for an annual fee so that the family can use it at the time of need. If you have decided to bank your baby’s cord blood, then it is advised to do a detailed research to find an accredited and reputed family cord blood bank.

Public cord blood banks allow families to donate the blood at free of cost. Cord blood donated to such public facilities is used for transplants or medical research. No matter whether you are planning to store or donate cord blood, it is essential to check out the eligibility criteria of cord blood banking.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Bone Marrow Transplant Versus Cord Blood Stem Cell Transplant

Significant strides and breakthroughs in the medical research and healthcare have helped the physicians to diagnose and treat patients better. Let us consider the field of stem cell research. Scientists have been striving hard to tap into the potential of master cells in curing wide and extensive array of diseases. Several discoveries were made over the past decade and the use of baby cord blood for stem cell transplants was just one of them. Umbilical cord blood that connects an embryo to the placenta serves an integral role of providing nutrients to the growing fetus. Discovery of stem cell presence in the cord blood and cord tissue was a major milestone in the history of stem cell research. Blood forming hematopoietic stem cells present in the cord blood can develop into red cells, white cells or platelets, which makes it capable of curing different types of debilitating conditions including genetic disorders, immune deficiencies and blood disorders. On the other hand, umbilical cord tissue contains Mesenchymal stem cells that can develop into different skeletal tissues such as cartilage, bone and fat.

Cord blood, being a rich source of blood forming stem cells can be used for the transplants among leukemia patients so as to restore the body’s ability to make blood and immune cells. That is the reason why medical community and scientists have been encouraging the banking and donation of baby cord blood. Private and public cord blood stem cell banking services are available to the expectant parents. Blood stored in the private bank will be solely for the family whereas cord blood donated to the public bank will be used for life saving transplants and research purpose. Great shelf life, lower risk of viral contamination, higher flexibility and lower incidence rates of graft versus host disease are some of the major benefits that makes cord blood stem cells a better alternative over bone marrow transplants.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Facts about Cord Blood Stem Cell Banking

Advancements in science and technology have transformed the field of healthcare and medicine over
the last decade. Let us take stem cell research as an example. Being one of the promising areas of biomedical research, stem cell biology has received wide attention. According to researchers, stem cell science has the potential to change the scope and future of regenerative medicine. However, harvesting and collection of stem cells is always surrounded by several set of ethical controversies. That is when cord blood stem cell banking came into limelight. Before we delve into the details of cord blood banking, let us find out what cord blood is. As you may know, umbilical cord connects the foetus with placenta and is responsible for providing oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to the growing embryo. After the baby is born, umbilical cord is cut. But even after the child birth, there will be some amount of blood remaining in the umbilical cord and placenta. This is termed as cord blood(CB) or placental blood. Around 180 ml of cord blood can be collected right after the child birth. What makes the umbilical cord blood so valuable? It is the presence of blood forming hematopoietic stem cells that offers a life-saving status to the CB. Not just the cord blood, but the cord tissue also contains Mesenchymal stem cells.

Stem cells harvested from the baby’s cord blood are used to treat several medical conditions such as leukaemia, lymphoma, immune deficiencies and other genetically inherited disorders. Generally, the cancerous cells are destroyed through chemotherapy and radiation procedures. Later, the stem cells are transplanted to restore the function of damaged cells. Cord blood stem cells are an effective alternative to bone marrow transplants. More and more expectant parents are banking their child’s cord blood these days. Those who can’t afford the high costs of cord blood banking are encouraged to donate it to public banks.
Findelio Health and Fitness Directory