Learn More About Cord Blood Stem Cells and Stem Cell Storage
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Here are some common questions about cord blood stem cells:
What are placental cord blood stem cells?
Stem cells are “master” cells that can change into any other cell in the human body. In other words, these cells can become heart cells, brain cells, spinal cord cells, lung cells, etc. In time, doctors hope to be able to repair any damaged organ in the body with these cells.
What are cord blood stem cells used to treat?
Currently, stem cells are used to treat a growing list of diseases. This includes certain cancers, leukemias, and blood disorders. Over time, we hope that heart disease, diabetes, spinal cord injury, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, and many other causes of pain, paralysis, and death will be treatable because of these cells.
How are stem cells collected?
This is a pain free process using blood that would otherwise be discarded. After the placental cord is cut, and the placenta (after-birth) is delivered, blood can be withdrawn from the cord. This blood is rich in stem cells. This blood is then sent to the lab where placental cord stem cells are removed and preserved.
How do we begin?
A simple telephone call to Stork is the beginning of a very easy process. We will fax or email you a request form. You will be responsible for giving us the name and address of the Hospital and Doctor. There is no charge for retrieval, but you will be responsible for shipping costs.
How are my cord blood stem cells identified so that it is not confused with others?
Every sample is immediately given a unique identifier code. This code is attached to the information that you have provided in your contract. This is a computerized system designed specifically for storing lab specimens. Once the sample is placed into the liquid nitrogen freezer, its exact storage slot is entered into the computer as well. This issue is of such obvious importance that both the FDA & AABB have issued guidelines that we meet or exceed in every area.
What chemical is used to prevent cell damage from occurring?
We use a very common cryo-protectant, DMSO (Dimethyl Sulfoxide). When the cells are needed for medical use, the DMSO is washed off of the cells. This chemical, and this method, has proven to be very successful.
What is slow-rate freezing?
In order to maximize the number of viable cells, we very slowly freeze them. We use a step-down process so that the cells can accommodate each new temperature. The progression to lower and lower temperatures keeps the cells from being “shocked” as they are eventually placed into the freezer at -196 degrees.
What does it mean to be “PharmaStem Compliant”?
In the past, one company attempted to patent the cell separation and storage process. They then charged a fee to use the process. Companies that paid the fee were considered “PharmaStem Compliant”. This patent was ruled to be invalid. In the end, there is no value to being PharmaStem Compliant.
Learn more about placental cord stem cells and stem cell storage with our Video Slideshow