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Cord Tissue: a vital component

embryo and cord tissueCord tissue could become a vital component to the future treatment of many diseases. The umbilical cord is crucial to the life of a baby in the womb, but following delivery, it is often discarded without second glance along with other afterbirth materials that appear to have outlived their use. Scientists are quickly discovering that the tissue of the umbilical cord could become a vital component to the future treatment of many diseases that have baffled the healthcare industry for years.

Cord tissue Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are younger and considered a superior resource when compared to bone marrow MSCs. The younger cells have a greater ability to multiply and differentiate when compared to their older donor counterparts.

Much like cord blood, cord tissue can be stored in our Bank. While not many options currently exist in the market for storing cord tissue, healthcare professionals agree that the market will become ripe for expansion as an understanding of this resource potential becomes more mainstream.

Advantages of Umbilical Cord Tissue as a source of mesenchymal Stem Cells

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can be isolated from many tissues, such as bone marrow, adipose tissue, umbilical cord etc. However, umbilical cord tissue has more advantages compared to other tissues as a source of mesenchymal stem cells:

  • The umbilical cord is routinely discarded at parturition, thus the isolation of MSCs from this tissue raises no ethical controversy compared with the ethical concerns associated with embryonic stem cells.
  • Easy, painless and risk-free collection process.
  • Cell number, greater differentiation potential and faster rates of division compared to bone marrow-derived MSCs. The large volume of umbilical cord and ease of physical manipulation increases the yield of MSCs. Also, the capacity of MSCs cells to proliferate is known to decrease with the age of the donor. The number of mesenchymal stem cells in the bone marrow decreases from 1 mesenchymal stem cell per 10,000 mononucleated bone marrow cells in newborns, to 1 per 100,000 in teenagers and finally to 1 per 1,000,000 in adults.
  • Due to the presence of placental barrier, umbilical cord MSCs have lower risk of bacterial and viral infections than those isolated from bone marrow, adipose tissue and peripheral blood.
  • Above all, the umbilical cord may contain further resident stem cell populations with enhanced potency, due to its appearance during the early developmental period of ontogenesis.

The umbilical cord blood, also, contains mesenchymal stem cells. However, the number of mesenchymal stem cells in adults is 1,000-5,000 such cells per cubic centimeter of umbilical cord blood and 10,000-15,000 per centimetre of umbilical cord tissue. The efficiency of processing and isolation of mesenchymal stem cells from umbilical cord tissue is 100% versus 63% from umbilical cord blood.