Stem cells from umbilical cord blood are hematopoeticstem cells (like adult bone marrow stem cells), meaning thatthey make blood cells. Receiving a cord blood transplant is similarto receiving a bone marrow transplant. The cord blood is removedfrom the umbilical cord and the placenta soon after a baby is born.Technicians or Physicians collect 3-5 ounces of blood from the cordand placenta which contains about a teaspoon of stem cells.

Disadvantages of cord blood:

Another disadvantage of cord blood is that there is no centralized(nationwide) system for collecting and storing of cord blood that isdonated. There are, however, private companies that will, for a fee,store a baby's cord blood for their own possible use later in life.Right now only a few hospitals collect donated cord blood and sometimesit is only done for births that happen during particular hours of theday. Also, there is some controversy over what organization shouldoversee collection and storage of donated cord blood.

Will cord blood ever be more useful?Researchers at the University of Minnesota and elsewhere are tryingto grow cord blood stem cells into other types of cells for new treatments.They are also working to increase transplant success for largerchildren and adults by multiplying the cells in the lab or by givingtransplants from more than one donor.


Umbilical Cord Blood Stem Cells

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