Stem cells are the only cells in the body that have the ability to multiply and differentiate and give birth to new tissues, being successfully used to replace degenerate cells in the body. They have the role of repairing the body where there are problems. They are harvested from several sources, but harvesting from the umbilical cord at the time of birth is the most common and reliable method.
Stem cells are a class of undifferentiated cells that are able to differentiate into specialized cell types. Usually, stem cells come from 3 main sources from which they are harvested:
embryos formed in the blastocyst phase of embryonic development (embryonic stem cells);
adult tissue (adult stem cells);
stem cells from the umbilical cord, at birth of the child.
Both types are characterized by their potency or their ability to differentiate into different cell types (skin, muscle, bone, etc.).
Stem cell harvesting from the umbilical cord
The most frequent and reliable source of stem cell harvesting is the umbilical cord at the birth of the child. The blood produced by the embryo in the mother's womb flows from the baby and back to it through the placenta and umbilical cord. When it crosses the placenta it is filled with essential nutrients and oxygen needed for fetal development.
When the baby is born, both the placenta and umbilical cord are separated from the baby and thrown away. Umbilical cord tissue collection is done very quickly, even at birth and does not involve any risk.
Stem cell harvesting is done by the doctor assisting you at birth, along with the staff involved at the time of birth. They follow certain special medical steps for this procedure.
In both the natural and Caesarean section, after the baby has been expelled, the doctor punctures the umbilical cord and collects the blood from the cord, but also from the placenta.
Placental blood sampling takes approximately 30 seconds for an experienced physician. For an inexperienced specialist, the procedure can take up to several minutes.
After the doctor collects blood from the umbilical cord, he will also collect a piece of it (15-20 cm) that will be stored in a container in the special collection kit for stem cells.
This device is noted and labeled and put in the kit and is put in the refrigerator until taken over by a special team from a bank of stem cells where you want to store them.
What diseases can be treated with stem cells?
disorders of central nervous system deterioration (Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, multiple sclerosis, pediatric brain injury);
Tags Stem cells Harvesting stem cells Diseases stem cells