PROCESSING CORD BLOOD / CORD TISSUE
Once your baby’s cord blood collection kit is received by our processing partner’s lab facility, they will immediately begin processing and analyzing your baby’s stem cells (to determine how many transplantable cells are present).
Maze Cord Blood uses Vitalent to process cord blood and cord tissue. Founded over 70 years ago, Vitalant is one of the major suppliers of blood and blood products to hospitals in the NY/NJ region.
Advanced Suspension MethodTM
Your baby’s cord blood will be processed using the Advanced Suspension MethodTM technology, which yields more healthy stem cells and reduces red blood cell contamination. This superior method results in less toxic side effects and a decrease in the likelihood of certain complications in future use.
Advanced Suspension MethodTM is a manual processing technique, which results in higher accuracy and less cell damage than automated processing. This method also allows the lab technologists to optimize the separation process by customizing the centrifugation speed depending on the volume of blood, resulting in a better yield.
Benefits of Manual vs Automated Processing
Manual processing is significantly superior to automated processing, for two reasons:
- Better Cell Recovery Rates, regardless of volume received
- When the volume of cord blood for processing is less than 40 ml or above 140 ml, the recovery rate increased 25%! This is a dramatically significant improvement over automated methods.
- Less Red Blood Cell (RBC) Contamination
- RBC contamination ranges from 5-10% when manually processed. However, it increased significantly to 25-40% with automated processing .
How it Works
- Cord blood is received by the lab within 12-24 hours of courier pick up
- The mother’s blood is thoroughly tested to ensure that there are no diseases present at the time of delivery that could have transferred to the baby’s cord blood
- Cord blood volume is reduced to about one quarter of the collected volume (approximately 25 ml or .85 ounces) by removing a large proportion of the red blood cells and plasma (liquid portion of the blood), which do not contain stem cells
- The cord blood components that remain after processing, but before freezing, are tested to check counts of CD34+, TNC, and 7-AAD cell viability
- A cryo-preservative (55% DMSO/Dextran 40 solution) is added to the cells
- The final unit is positioned in a metal cassette, coded with a unique identifying number, and placed in the vapor phase nitrogen tank for storage
Your baby’s cord tissue will be processed using the TissueQESTM method, which provides a Quantitative Evaluation of stem cell Survival. The quality and quantity of your baby’s stem cells will be verified prior to long-term storage and you will receive a PhotoID verifying your baby’s stem cell growth.
How it Works
- Cord tissue is received by our lab within 12-24 hours of courier pick up
- The tissue is then cut into small pieces and a cryo-preservative is added
- The mixture is placed into 5 separate vials, as well as a test vial, and frozen
- The test vial is thawed
- Stem cells are placed into a sealed specimen dish
- After 14 days, confluence (which represents the percentage of the specimen dish that is covered by cell colonies) is measured
- A photograph of the specimen dish is taken under a microscope and a picture of the stem cell growth on the specimen plate is sent to you
Note: In the very unlikely case that your baby’s cells do not grow after testing, you will have the option to destroy them and receive a refund for the cord tissue.
Why is this important?
In order to verify that your baby’s cells can survive the freezing and thawing process, it’s critical to measure post-thaw growth. It is important to note that the vast majority of banks use pre-thaw verification methods and therefore, aren’t offering, confirming or evaluating the viability and ability of the cells to grow after freezing and thawing.
Vitalant’s commitment to quality:
Vitalent is one of the nation’s oldest and largest transfusion medical organizations serving some 700 hospitals from coast to coast and founding member of America’s Blood Centers and the AABB (formerly the American Association of Blood Banks). Vitalant is dedicated to providing the highest quality products, and engages in sound and ethical business practices by maintaining all required regulatory licenses and certificates of accreditation:
- FDA Blood Establishment Registrations and Product Listings and Establishment Registrations and Listings for Human Cells, Tissues, and Cellular and Tissue-Based Products (HCT/Ps)
- New Jersey State Department of Health Clinical Laboratory and Blood Bank licenses
- New York State Department of Health Clinical Laboratory Permits and Tissue Bank Licenses
- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services – Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) – Certificates of Accreditation
- NJDEP Radioactive Materials License
- Accreditation by AABB (formerly the American Association of Blood Banks)
Quality and Safety
Achieving blood safety is a process that requires a solid scientific foundation, strict protocols, and meticulous adherence to these protocols to help realize the full potential of preventing, treating and curing blood-borne diseases. Understanding fundamental characteristics of blood, as well as the development of new technologies and methodologies, enables CBS to continually improve the science and practice of transfusion medicine.
Vitalant also follows applicable Department of Transportation and Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations and guidelines.
NEXT STEP: FREEZING & STORAGE