The pioneering field of regenerative medicine entails the development of methods to regrow, repair or replace damaged or diseased cells, organs or tissues. It includes the use of stem cells, tissue and the production of artificial organs to treat genetic and degenerative diseases, and to rejuvenate or replace damaged tissue or organs.
What may seem surreal to most, is already saving lives worldwide. That said, the concept is far from fiction as the human body has been using stem cells to naturally repair itself for thousands of years. Studies show that the average adult human body contains approximately 37.2 trillion cells and that cell proliferation is twice as fast in babies than in adults. The cells of a new-born – consisting of many different cell types such as stem cells – are therefore far healthier, younger and more flexible with significant regenerative abilities.
Stem cells are undifferentiated cells capable of giving rise to indefinitely more cells of the same type, and from which certain other kinds of cells arise by differentiation. Pluripotent stem cells can give rise to all the cell types in the body, whereas multipotent stem cells can develop into more than one cell type but are more limited than pluripotent cells. Cord blood is a rich and unique source of multipotent stem cells and studies show that if these cells are stored at birth and infused or injected as cellular therapies later in life, they can regenerate or heal the affected area, under the right circumstances.
Once you understand the true potential of cord blood stem cells for future health, you wouldn’t want a single cell to go to waste. It gives you real options in a time when there may not be many, or even any cures at all. Cord blood stem cells not only have the potential to save the life of the donor, but also that of family members and even complete strangers. Thankfully, there is an easy and non-invasive way to collect and store your child’s stem cells at birth.
Family stem cell banks like CryoSave SA can assist in the collection of cord blood within the first 10 minutes after the birth of your child. While your baby is receiving medical care, a healthcare professional will draw blood from the clamped cord into a special collection bag. The cord blood is extracted, tested and cryopreserved in a secure, state-of-the-art storage facility – ready for a future miracle.
In our next article, we will discuss the unique life-saving potential of cord blood compared to other sources of stem cells, and touch on the various diseases treatable with cord blood stem cells.