Stem cells from cord blood for what, storage, prices

Most of them are precursors of red blood cells. But as a result of a number of experiments it was found that under certain conditions it is possible to direct the process of differentiation (specialization) in any direction. For example, to grow cartilage, nervous tissue, muscle fibers, etc.

Stem cells from umbilical cord blood are good because:

  • use them ethically;
  • procedure of obtaining cord blood is not harmful to the mother and the child;
  • in our time they can be used to treat a number of diseases, and in the future, the number of indications for the use of stem cells will only increase;
  • storing stem cells child is a kind of insurance in case of serious illness of the owner of the material, and its genetic relatives;
  • cells young, they have not exhausted their potential, because active and divide rapidly, helping to restore the tissues of the body;
  • T-lymphocytes from cord blood are still not in contact with foreign agents, as the fetus inside the mother’s body is completely sterile, and this means that the risk of rejection is much lower compared to the reaction that happens after a bone marrow transplant from an adult.

A brief excursion into the history of the issue

For the first time scientists have drawn attention to the presence of stem cells in the bone marrow. There they contained the highest number. And they can be used for transplantation to another human for the treatment of a number of diseases of the blood.

The first bone marrow transplant was undertaken in 1969 for the patient with leukemia American physician Don Thomas. Before the transplant, bone marrow all cells of the hematopoietic system of the patient was destroyed with special chemicals and radiation.

Cells of the donor after the transplant to give the patient the growth of new healthy blood cells. The above-described method with some modifications is used to this day. And Dr. don Thomas in 1990 was awarded the Nobel prize.

The problem with donor bone marrow following: even if there are a large number of potential donors to find a suitable patient sample is extremely difficult.

Only in the United States, there are 4-5 million potential bone marrow donors who have passed the required examination and had blood drawn for typing and was listed in the database.

Despite this, in each case, the selection of a suitable donor for the patient takes about 1 year. It also happens that a suitable donor simply do not find, as people from a genetic point of view is unique, and convergence of parameters that must be taken into account when transplanting, it is extremely rare.

For experiments over several years were used embryonic stem cells of humans and animals.

So how in the world annually spend millions of abortion material for research was a huge amount. However, such experiments were deemed unethical and in some countries is prohibited in law. To circumvent these limitations, it was proposed the use of own stem cells of the patient, taken from the adipose tissue, and the use of umbilical cord blood that can be stored indefinitely without losing its useful properties.

Cord blood storage and use as required has been held for 20 years. And if previously collected and stored samples in an unnamed state banks of cord blood that could be used to treat any patient, in the last decade, increasingly parents are turning to private banks to preserve the nominal samples of material. Named samples can be used only at the discretion of their owners.

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Now can treat their use

  • Injury of any of the parts of the nervous system.

At present, there are already communication about successful cases of treatment of consequences of traumas of the nervous system with stem cells. The improvement in patients is due to the fact that stem cells can differentiate into oligodendrocytes – the cells of the nervous system, and may contribute to tumor vessels in areas where sections of the bloodstream has been damaged as a result of trauma, atherosclerotic process or disease.

Both processes stem cell transplant occur at the same time, which ultimately leads to the restoration section of the Central or peripheral nervous system.

Now for transplantation in neurosurgery used two main methods:

  • operations, including a craniotomy, if we are talking about the brain.
  • lumbar puncture (injection of stem cells into the spinal canal).

Now the methods of delivery of stem cells to an injured area of any of the parts of the nervous system through the blood vessels under ultrasound. Their sources for adult patients who do not have a frozen stem cells from umbilical cord blood, there may be some brain structures (e.g., temporal gyrus, or olfactory bulb), and red bone marrow.

But getting in General condition of the patient after a stroke or injury is difficult, since any operation can aggravate the condition of the person.

The negative is the fact that adult stem cells in contrast to the same cells of the newborn, already often unable to form complete cells of nervous tissue. Under the influence of a number of conditions created in the laboratory, adult stem cells can differentiate «as close as possible to the neuronal» and even to assume some of the functions of neurons. But the result of treatment of such cells will be lower.

In such a situation, those patients, who will have their own stem cells from umbilical cord blood, will be in a better position.

Examples of treatment:

  • in 2004, South Korean scientists were able to restore the site of the spinal cord in 37-year-old patient, who after the trauma of 19 years could not walk and moved only in a wheelchair;
  • treatment of stroke with stem cell transplantation allows you to get a more pronounced and rapid recovery of motor functions, coordination, speech, compared to the standard treatment, which is assigned when apologia;
  • in 2013 in the journal Stem Cell was published a large study on the treatment of children with cerebral palsy with stem cells derived from umbilical cord blood;
  • in South Korea for several years used a method of treatment of cerebral palsy their own stem cells of the patient, taken from umbilical cord blood.
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The already obtained data that will enable in the near future to begin the treatment of diseases such as allergic encephalomyelitis, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Diseases of the blood system.

Treatment of diseases of the hematopoietic system is what actually started the wide use of transplantation in medicine. Because in this direction already great experience.

Currently, the indications for treatment of the patient’s own or donor stem cells are:

  • myelodysplasia;
  • acute and chronic leukemias;
  • refractory anemia;
  • aplastic anemia;
  • lymphoma;
  • the Fanconi anemia;
  • paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria;
  • multiple myeloma;
  • beta-thalassemia;
  • macroglobulinemia waldenstrom’s;
  • sickle-cell anemia.

Part of the above diseases can be cured by introduction of the cells. The effect of the treatment in cases when the abnormalities in the hematopoietic system occurred during the life of the person, and absent at birth.

If the disease is hereditary (e.g. sickle cell anemia), or occurred in utero, it is advisable to use donor stem cells from a healthy person.

  • Reconstructive medicine.

Even people far from medicine are familiar with the fact of growing cartilage of the human ear on the body of rats and further transplantation in this patient’s ear. The news of this event for a long time appeared on a variety of resources on the Internet and every now and then surfaced in the media.

It happened back in 1997. The authors methods were surgeon J. Vacanti and microengineer Jeffrey Borenstein from Boston. The ear was grown on a frame of titanium wire. When the experience was completed successfully, researchers started growing in vitro in human liver.

From stem cells can be grown and transplanted to the patient of articular cartilage. Transplantation of cartilage plate can greatly facilitate for the patient movement to maintain joint mobility and reduce pain.

  • Other diseases.

There are already reports of the restoration of the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas using stem cells in patients with acute pancreatitis. The islets of Langerhans in the pancreas responsible for insulin production. If these areas in the body are damaged, the person will inevitably developing diabetes.

This can be attributed to various congenital and acquired autoimmune disorders, metabolic disorders, oncological processes. For example:

  • systemic sclerosis;
  • systemic lupus erythematosus;
  • rheumatoid arthritis;
  • cancer of the breast, lung, ovaries, testes and other organs;
  • congenital immunodeficiency;
  • AIDS;
  • amyloidosis;
  • histiocytosis etc.

Cord blood banks

Take on storing stem cells from umbilical cord blood are two categories of banks: state and private. The purpose of the state banks to create a certain amount of biological material from unidentified donors, and in the subsequent use of this biological material for research and treatment of patients. To apply for obtaining stem cells is open to any research or medical institution. Prior to the adoption of storing each of the samples typerule and added to the database.

Private banks created in order to take possession of personal samples from the parents of newborns and store them until then, until the biological material is not needed or when the family refuses to pay for the storage.

To dispose of their personal stock can the child’s family until his majority, and then the child.

Currently, some state-owned banks also take on storing personal samples on a commercial basis.

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In Russia

  • Gemabank.

Works not only in Russia but also in Ukraine. Some confuse the fact that is a Limited Liability company (OOO «Gemabank»). Some of the topics that has a large number of negative reviews. Some people do not trust Gemabank because unlike other institutions of this type it does not conduct own research, and deals only with the storage of samples. However, customers, including regular customers, Gamabunta is.

  • BSK «Kriotsentr».
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Bank of stem cells «Kriotsentr» was created in 2003 on the basis of the Scientific center of obstetrics, gynecology and Perinatology of the RAMS.

In Ukraine

  • The Institute of cell therapy.

The Bank is a member of an international organization because the cord blood sample can, if necessary, to move in any of the countries of Europe and the United States.

  • OOO «Gemabank».

Companies that take on the storage of cord blood samples in Belarus

  • Stem cells Bank cord blood on the basis of the Laboratory for separation and freezing of bone marrow 9 Gorodstkoy Clinical Hospital of Minsk.

9 clinical hospital of Minsk city is a state organization which accepts as a nameless, so personal cord blood samples for storage. In order to store the nominal sample, parents need to write two statements: one in the hospital for cord blood sampling, the second in 9 CCH allocation and kryzanowska stem cells.

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Overseas whose services are available to residents of the CIS

  • The Swiss biotechnology company Sal’veo Biotekhnolodzhi.

Private Bank for storing stem cells from umbilical cord blood Sal’veo works in all EU countries. Since 2012 to use the services of companies can also the residents of Russia and Ukraine. Main office and laboratory in which the samples are stored, is in Geneva.

Collection and preparation of sample for freezing

Cord blood is produced immediately after the child is born, the umbilical cord is clamped and cut off. However, there is no difference, a baby is born naturally or by cesarean section. Usually blood is taken using a needle attached to the syringe.

The procedure is technically simple, but still requires special training of medical staff, as blood is taken must remain sterile. After the whole blood are in the syringe, it is poured into a special container containing anticoagulant (a drug which prevents blood clotting).

In the container the blood may be stored for 24 hours. During this time it must be delivered to the laboratory blood Bank and subjected to a special procedure of preparation for freezing.

In order to make sense to keep it, you need to collect a certain amount of it. Blood banks consider it inappropriate to store stem cells obtained from a blood volume less than 40 ml. the best is 80 ml of blood, because very often the blood is taken further also from the placenta.

And we don’t take blood from the baby when we collect a sample of «future»?

By itself, the collection procedure is safe for mother and fetus. On the Internet periodically expressed the opinion that it is harmful for the child, as in fact it take a newborn. These opinions are unfounded, because of the blood still in the umbilical cord and placenta regardless of whether the blood to take to cryosurgery or not.

Moreover, the obstetricians and neonatologists are aware that late cut of the umbilical cord, which is to «give the baby more blood,» often leads to more severe newborn jaundice.

Physiological jaundice develops almost every child and it is caused by the active destruction of fetal hemoglobin (also hemoglobin, which carries oxygen in the blood of the child during fetal development).

The more blood goes to the baby immediately after birth, the more destroyed, hemoglobin, the more pronounced yellowness of the skin and mucous membranes. In light of the above, it turns out that the baby is not in danger. We are not «robbing» him, taking cord blood for freezing.


Whole cord blood is delivered to the laboratory, where it undergoes several stages of validation and processing. First of all, samples to be tested for various infectious diseases and bacterial contamination.

If the pattern detected markers of HIV, hepatitis and other infections, a blood considered unfit for further use.

The next step is to separate stem cells from red cell mass and plasma. This applies to several methods. The simplest of techniques – the process of sedimentation using 6% hydroxyethyl starch.

The second method is using automatic cell separators. An example of such equipment can be automatic cell separator Sepax cord blood manufactured by the Swiss company Biosafe.

The automatic method has several advantages:

  • high the result of isolation of stem cells (about 97% against 60% obtained by other methods);
  • there is no dependence of the result from allocation of personnel training;
  • excluded contamination of samples by bacteria, fungi or viruses in the process of working with the material.

After the stem cells are separated from the rest, they are placed in special plastic bags or vials with cryoprotectant, a substance that protects cells from damage during freezing and thawing. The output is usually 5-7 cryovials with stem cells. Several vials of satellites with plasma and formed elements of the blood are frozen along with the samples of stem cells for any reason in the future it was possible to carry out the necessary tests and not to spend their valuable biological material.

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Ready-made bags or vials frozen using special techniques that contribute to cell survival after thawing. First, samples are frozen to a temperature of -90C, then gradually lowered the temperature to – 150 ° C and kept in these conditions until the end of the quarantine period, until the study material for viruses and bacterial contamination.

After the end of quarantine, the samples are transferred into permanent storage, where the temperature -196ОС.


Storing stem cells is in liquid nitrogen at the temperature of 196ОС. Currently, there is evidence that even 20 years later the stem cells after thawing retain their properties. This does not mean that after 20 years of storage, the sample will be unusable.

This means that the first Bank for storing umbilical cord blood opened about 20 years ago, and researchers have yet more real facts about how long you can store the cells without losing their viability.

Part of the cells during freezing and thawing killed. But usually such cells not more than 25%, and the rest of their number is enough to conduct the necessary treatment.


According to statistics, at present, the nominal samples of stem cells are sought after extremely rare. More often refer professionals to identify suitable samples of stem cells in public banks-registrars. The average demand is one in a thousand nameless sample. But from year to year indications for the use of stem cells are expanding, and therefore demand the ring samples, and the likelihood that the owner will need his personalized sample will grow.

For and against

Modern parents hear about the opportunity to preserve umbilical cord blood of the baby more often. But, as practice shows, the information which parents receive is often incomplete, if not one-sided. Parents primarily trying to convey that to treat it with stem cells can be leukemia and other diseases of the hematopoietic system.

Each adult finds questionable the likelihood of developing this disease in their child, since really the risk of cancer in children is not so high. If the prospective parents will know what stem cell banking is not just for the treatment of leukemia, but also recreate any of the parts of the nervous system after an injury, diabetes without drugs, recovery of heart muscle after a heart attack, recovery of the joints, which had collapsed as a result of degenerative diseases (arthrosis), and the attitude to the procedure they will have otherwise.

Currently motivated to become parents:

  • the presence of a genetic disease one parent with risk of transmitting the disease to the child;
  • the presence of health problems at the first child in the family;
  • «biological insurance» in case of illness for the child and any of his blood relatives.

Some families stop the high price of fence and storage of cord blood samples. This is understandable for a young family that is expecting an arrival, every penny is important, because spending on things that may be needed in the distant future, appear to be unfounded.

The only thing you can cite as an argument in this case is the cost of the donor sample, which reaches 20000-45000 USD. To collect such a sum for an average family is problematic, as evidenced by the numerous charitable fundraisers for treatment, which is full of Internet and media.

Prices for stem cells from umbilical cord blood

The cost of collection, preparation and storage of the sample in Belarus

Name of service Price, USD
container for blood collection 5
cord blood sampling in the hospital 20
the concentration and selection of stem cells 400
testing blood for infection 40
1 year of storage of the sample 100


The cost of services in Ukraine

Name of service The value of the hryvnia
collection, preparation and freezing of the sample 5800-6000
1 year of storage of the sample 1000


The cost of service in Russia

Name of service Cost, rubles
sampling and storage of umbilical cord blood concentrate in creamest for 1 year from 54000
sampling and storage of umbilical cord blood concentrate in cryovials for 1 year from 69000
fee for each subsequent year of storage, the nominal sample 4500-5000

Some banks offer special conditions for their customers. It can be installment payment or special offers services when both are charged the fence, specimen preparation, freezing it and storing for 15-20 years. Purchase package it is expensive, but in the long term, taking into account constantly growing prices, you can save some money on storage.