Cord Blood Stem Cells
Research on stem cells is advancing knowledge about how an organism develops from a single cell and how healthy cells can replace damaged cells in adult organisms.
Stem cells have two important characteristics that distinguish them from other types of cells. Firstly they are unspecialized cells and secondly, under certain physiologic or experimental conditions, they can be induced to become cells with special functions.
All stem cells have three general properties
· They are unspecialized
· They can give rise to specialized cell types.
· They are capable of dividing and renewing themselves for long periods
Stem cells may replicate many times in a process called proliferation. If the resulting cells continue to be unspecialized the cells are said to be capable of long-term self-renewal. Also stem cells do not have any tissue-specific structures, therefore unspecialized stem cells can give rise to specialized cells, including heart muscle cells, blood cells, or nerve cells by a process called differentiation.
Blood stem cells are one of several types of stem cell. Healthy blood stem cells are vital because they replace our supply of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body, white blood cells fight infection, and platelets clot blood (control bleeding) when the skin or other tissue is cut.
When a person's blood stem cells become diseased or cancerous, it is a life-threatening situation. Often, the only hope for a cure is a blood stem cell transplant, which replaces the patient's diseased cells with healthy new cells. For the transplant to be a success these cells must match the patient's own cells as closely as possible.
The cells used in blood stem cell transplants come from three main sources: bone marrow, peripheral (or circulating) blood, and the umbilical cord of newborn babies (cord blood). In the case of bone marrow and peripheral blood stem cells, an adult donor donates the cells. Umbilical cord blood stem cells are collected when a baby is born and are stored for future use.
Cord blood donation poses no risk or pain to mother or baby. Also, there is a lower risk of graft-versus-host disease post-transplant using cord blood stem cells than with other types of blood stem cell transplants, allowing for less than perfect matches of HLA type (Human Leukocyte Antigen typing) which determines whether a patient has a suitable donor for stem cell transplant.
Cord Partnersï¿½ is an umbilical cord blood banking company who believes partnering with our clients for personal cord blood stem cells storage, is essential to securing every familyï¿½s future health. Free cord blood preservation and stem cells information available by completing the form below.
What are you planning to do with your babyï¿½s umbilical cord? Find out why thousands of moms are banking their babyï¿½s cord blood. Click the link below to request more information about Cord Blood Banking - Cord Blood Registry provides an exceptional information packet to help you educate you on this incredible new discovery.