Both cord blood and umbilical cord tissue have been shown to be rich sources of Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs). Whereas cord blood is exceptionally rich in hematopoietic (leading to blood and immunological cells) stem cells, cord tissue carries a more dense concentration of the MSCs. These cells have the ability to differentiate into a variety of different cell types, including bone cells (osteoblasts), chondroyctes (cartilage cells), ligament and tendon cells.
Although there are no current medical therapies using stem cells derived from umbilical cord tissues, there is ongoing research for their use in treatment of:
In addition to the storage of cord blood, M.A.Z.E. Cord Blood Laboratories is pleased to offer parents the option of storing their child's umbilical cord tissue as well. Once the baby has been delivered by either vaginal OR caesarian section birth, the umbilical cord is normally discarded as a waste product. If the cord tissue is to be banked, after the cord blood is collected, the cord itself is clamped. A 3 – 5 inch section is cut and placed in the cup provided and sent to our processing laboratory in the same kit as the cord blood.
The cord tissue is minced and mixed with a cryoprotectant, separated into several vials, frozen and then stored in our cryo tanks until if and when needed. It is not ready for transplant at this stage and must be cultured and expanded when needed. Fortunately, the cells are quite hardy and based on current research seem very easy to culture. Although studies are ongoing, there is no guarantee that the cord tissue will be useable in the future. Any transplant need must be determined by the patient's own physician.