What is umbilical cord blood stem cell?

Patients suffering from stem cell related afflictions normally undergo some tough times.

Since the stem cell related problems affect the blood cell production in their body, stem cell transplant is the best known treatment for a complete cure.

Generally the best source of stem cells for a transplant has been the bone marrow. So patients suffering from stem cell related problems, have to wait till they find a matching bone marrow donor, upon which they will have to undergo the surgery for the stem cell transplant that will cure their problem.

Since the number of patients requiring the transplant far outnumbers the donor list, it is generally and long and painful wait for the patients till they get a matching bone marrow. Umbilical cord blood has been found to be rich in stem cell content. The umbilical cord of a baby serves as the link between the baby and its mother before the baby’s birth.

After the baby’s birth, the umbilical cord usually contains a small amount of blood, which has been recently found to be a great source of fresh stem cells , which can be used easily in case of stem cell transplants.

It is also been found that the umbilical cord blood can be easily collected and the blood and stem cell content can be preserved for a long time to be used later in case of need.

The collection of the umbilical cord blood is performed after the birth of the baby and so no harm is done to the baby or the mother. In a normal practice, the umbilical cord blood will be discarded after birth. To find such a great use from something that has been traditionally discarded is an excellent breakthrough.

The umbilical cord blood thus collected can be stored for later use in the adult life of the donor as a source of stem cells. The place to store the umbilical cord blood is a stem cell bank. These banks have special equipment to test, treat and preserve the cord blood.

By applying proper procedures the umbilical cord blood and the stem cell content can be stored for periods up to ten years.This provides a big advantage in the field of umbilical cord blood and stem cell research.

Such easy collection and storing procedures of the umbilical cord blood and its stem cell replenishment qualities make it a great option for those who are waiting for bone marrow transplant.