Understanding Cord Blood Banking

Understanding Cord Blood Banking

As regenerative medicine has grown in popularity in recent years, there has been an increasing demand for the service.  Regenerative medicine involves the use of the body’s own healing powers to help improve various ailments that affect the human body.  One of the most well-known biologics in the field of regenerative medicine is the use of stem cells.  While stem cell therapy has grown in popularity, particularly among the general public, there is an increasing demand for stem cells.  As a result, scientists and physicians have had to find various ways to meet the demand of people wanting stem cell therapy.

Stem cells are not like normal medication.  They cannot be mass-produced in a lab, with production being scaled to fit demand.  Rather, stem cells are biologics that come from human beings.  When most people think of stem cells, they think of stem cells coming from bone marrow.  Stem cells from bone marrow cannot be mass-produced.  Rather, typically patients who require bone marrow stem cells have stem cells taken from their own marrow.  If they need another round of therapy then they undergo another bone marrow harvest.  While this works, it is not realistic on a large scale.  This is where umbilical cord blood comes into play.

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Umbilical cord blood is rich in stem cells which makes it valuable.  In addition, it can be harvested with essentially no risk to the donor or the recipient.  Umbilical cord blood is taken from the umbilical cord during birth.  This biologic is normally discarded during birth.  While the umbilical cord is rich in stem cells, there must be a process or method to store these stem cells for future use if they are going to be used on a wide scale.  This is where cord blood banking comes into play.

After umbilical cord blood is retrieved, it needs to be processed and stored before it can be used on the recipient.  Currently, this process takes place in cord blood banks.  Those pregnant mothers who choose to donate their cord blood have it stored for free in a public cord bank.  These banks process and store cord blood so the stem cells can be ready for use when patients need them.  The more cord blood that is stored in these public banks, the more stem cells are available for patients when they need them.

Stem cell therapy like the stem cell clinic Beverly Hills is gaining in popularity.  People can now see stem cells in everything from cosmetic products to stem cell injections.  Stem cells offer a big upside with significantly less risk than other traditional treatments.  One of the biggest with stem cells has been that they are not readily available as are other medications and treatments.  However, with the development of cord blood banks, where stem cells from donors can be stored until needed by recipients, there is an ability for stem cells to be used on a much wider basis.  Cord blood banking is becoming more popular and is vital to the widespread use of stem cells in the future.

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