Umbilical cord blood (UCB) stem cells have garnered greater importance in the medical science because of their ability to alter themselves into any type of human cells. Umbilical cord blood is a type of blood stays in the placenta and in the connected umbilical cord after the birth of the child. UCB is a rich source of stem cells which can be used in research and in the clinic for the treatment of diseases that are related to the immune system or the blood.The stem cells can also be used to treat genetic and hematopoietic disorders.Once the umbilical cord is clamped and cut, the remaining blood is drawn into a collection bag;then it is cryopreserved and stored.
These stem cells are stored either in public cord blood banks or private ones. A study on stem cell umbilical cord blood market states a fact that there is another type of cell which is derived from UCB and i.e., mesenchymal stromal cells and these cells have the ability to grow into cartilage, bone and many other types of tissues.
Why is the cord blood so special?
The umbilical cord blood comprises of haematopoietic stem cells, and these cells are quite similar to the ones that are present in a bone marrow. The stem cells are used to develop red blood cells and cells from the immune system. Presently, in the field of medical science, the stem cell umbilical cord blood is used to treat a varied range of health problems such as autoimmune diseases, leukaemia, and anaemia. Also, the stem cells are known to be widely used to treat health issues in children; however it is also used in adults for chemotherapy treatment.The stem cells cord bloods are young biologically and are also more malleable relatively to the adult stem cell that has been extracted from other sources such as bone marrow.
Unique qualities and advantages of UCB stem cells:
- Reduced risk of complications when doing transplant surgery
- Available when required and can lessen the disease development in early treatment
- The ability to utilize an individual’s own stem cells for several conditions which presently is deficient of any medical treatment options, also termed as ‘autologous transplantation’
- When preserved, the stem cells are protected from further aging and being exposed to any kind of environmental factors and other viruses which decreases the function