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What is umbilical cord blood? And its characteristic?

The umbilical cord blood is a kind of blood reserved in the placenta and umbilical cord after the fetus is delivered and the umbilical cord is ligatured and detached, which is normally abandoned and unused. Although every infant just has a small amount of blood in the umbilical cord, these blood contain a large number of stem cells that is one of the main sources for the adult stem cells, in 1970 of the last century, it was found that the umbilical cord blood is rich in the stem cells especially the content of hematopoietic stem cells can compare favourably with the bone marrow, which can instead of the bone marrow used for the stem cells transplantation for the treatment of leukemia and aplastic anemia. The stem cells in the newborn umbilical cord blood have small allograft rejection reaction, low immunogenicity compare with the bone marrow stem cells and peripheral blood stem cells, and the regeneration capacity and speed are 10-20 times than the former. In addition, the umbilical cord blood also contains the mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) which can differentiate into the skin, muscle, bone marrow, myocardium and neurocyte.

Therefore, the umbilical cord blood has been an important source for the hematopoietic stem cells, which is a very important human biological resource.

What is umbilical cord blood used for?

The hematopoietic stem cells in the umbilical cord blood can be used for the treatments of various hematological system diseases and immune system diseases include hematological malignant tumor(such as acute leukemia, chronic leukemia, multiple myeloma, bone marrow abnormal proliferation syndrome and lymphoma), hemoglobinopathy (such as thalassemia), bone marrow haematopoietic function failure(such as aplastic anemia), congenital metabolic disease, congenital immunodeficiency disease, autoimmune disease and some solid tumors(such as small cell lung cancer, neuroblastoma and ovarian cancer).

Stem cells transplantation: It can treat acute leukemia, severe combined immunodeficiency, chronic leukemia, severe aplastic anemia, myelodysplastic syndrome, thalassemia, neuroblastoma, some hereditary diseases and connective tissue diseases such as severe rheumatism, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus erythematosus.

Applicable to cell therapy: Various malignant tumors, collagenosis and chronic leukemia.

Applicable to regenerative medicine: Treat some diseases of nerve, muscle, liver, myocardium and skin.

How long can umbilical cord blood be stored?

The medical research and clinical practice have proved the cells  stored for long time still have the activity, the storage history of bone marrow hematopoietic stem cells have been more than 40 years, the storage history for the hematopoietic stem cells of umbilical cord blood have been 21 years. The relevant research has proved the hematopoietic stem cells of umbilical cord blood still have the activity after 20 years storage. Therefore, in theory, the hematopoietic stem cells of umbilical cord blood can be stored at a deep hypothermia of -196℃permanently.