Regenerative medicine deals with regrowing the body parts lost through aging, injury, or illness. The cord blood collected immediately after child birth is much used in regenerative medicine. This cord blood contains haematopoitic stem cells which can be collected, stored and cultured in to different tissues when needed. This article extensively throws light upon the procedures involved in collecting, processing, storing the stem cells. Also let us see a short but pointed uses of stem cell therapy.
Cord blood collection
The expectant parents first should enroll themselves with a stem cell bank. The papers to be filled and signed include
- An enrollment form
- Mother to be`s health history form
- Client agreement form
Then on the way to hospital for delivery the bank should be called and informed about the hospital. The stem cell bank will at once deliver the cord blood collection kit to the hospital which includes detailed instructions on how to use it. Any doctor then can perform the collection. The collection can be done in-utero or ex-utero according to the situation which is best judged by the doctor. Cord blood can be collected regardless the delivery is vaginal or caesarian.
Immediately after the child birth the cord is clamped and the cord is cleaned and sterilized with iodine solution and alcohol swabs provided in the kit. The sterilized needle attached to the blood collection bag is inserted into the maternal side of the cord. The blood is allowed to flow by gravity in to the bag. This usually takes 3-5 minutes. After this the needle is taken out and reinserted into the umbilical cord closer to the placenta and the remaining blood is collected. Thus every drop of cord blood is collected with care that there is no wastage of valuable stem cells. Then, the needle and the connecting tube is cut and removed. The tube emerging from the bag is also clamped and knotted twice. The blood bag is sealed and placed in a plastic bag between two gel packs to maintain the temperature. The whole is sealed in a box and the information card is filled with great care and transported to the bank where it is kept in cryobags in controlled rate freezers cooled by liquid nitrogen to a temperature of -196 degree Celsius.
Tests on collected blood
The cord blood is tested and analyzed for
- Malarial parasite
- Anti CMV IgM or IgG
- TNCC-Total nucleated cell count
- CD34 count
- Blood grouping
- Culture for microbiological contamination
Any problem will be immediately reported to the parents and solved.
Processing of blood
This occurs in two steps
- Volume reduction
- Separation to isolate the stem cells
The cord blood is processed in a class100 clean room. The stem cells undergo all processes in a controlled atmosphere with minimal chance of errors. So the stem cells are stored in such a way that they have greater viability at any count.
Diseases treated successfully with stem cell regenerative therapy
- Acute and chronic leukemia
- Histiocytic disorders
- Inherited erythrocyte abnormalities
- Inherited metabolic disorders
- Immune system disorders
- Platelet diseases
- Lymphoproliferative diseases
- Myelodysplastic syndrome
- Phagocytic diseases
- Plasma cell diseases
- Multiple sclerosis
- Muscular dystrophy
Further researches are done in areas of
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Spinal cord injury
So it should be essential that this cord blood should be stored for the welfare of future generation