What is Umbilical Cord Blood?

Umbilical cord blood contains blood (haematopoietic) stem cells, which can produce all the other cells found in blood, including cells of the immune system. Transplants of haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) from cord blood can be used to treat several different blood diseases, such as leukaemia and osteoarthritis

Stem cells from umbilical cord blood are hematopoietic stem cells. Technicians or Physicians remove and collect 3-5 ounces of blood from the cord and placenta after the baby is born, which contains stem cells, growth factors, and cytokines.

Potential advantages of cord blood:

  • Hematopoietic stem cells are somewhat more versatile than Mesenchymal bone marrow-derived stem cells, meaning that cord blood transplants have the potential to treat a wider range of diseases.
  • The HLA profile of umbilical cord blood, meaning how similar it is to the recipient's own cells, does not need to match the recipient as closely as does bone marrow. There is less chance of rejection of the transplant.
  • There is a ready supply of cord blood, and collection of it does no harm to mother or baby.

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