Cord blood is the blood which is collected from baby's umbilical cord after birth. During gestation period, mother and her baby are connected to each other with the help of umbilical cord. This cord serves as transport channel to supply nutritions, immunity cells, steam cells and other important elements required for physical and mental development of foetus. After birth, umbilical cord is cut off. This cord is filled with blood and called as cord blood. Under parents advise, cord blood are collected by simple procedure and processed for storage.
There are several techniques to collect cord blood. It is commonly drained as normal blood draining which do not cause any pain or harm to mother and baby. One of the popular method is collecting in bag (called Bag Method) by evacuating the cord and placenta with the help of syringe or simply elevating. It is then stored in blood banks which offers cord blood banking services. In blood bank, it's stored under cryopreservation. Cryopreservation is the technique of storing biological components/cells under extremely low temperature (-196°C) where ageing and metabolic functions of cells are ceased. With this storing technique, cord blood remains fresh and usable for long time.
Uses of Cord Blood
Cord blood generally consists of hematopoietic stem cells, mesenchymal stem cells and progenitor cells. Due to presence of these regenerative cells, cord blood are stored and used for future proposes in curing related diseases and disorders.
- Cord blood are source of stem cells which are parent cells having an ability to produce and regenerate various components in human.
- Hematopoietic stem cells found in cord blood produces RBCs, WBCs, Platelets. It plays important role in curing blood related disorder and diseases like blood cancer, leukemia, sickle cell anemia, Hodgkin's and Non-Hodgkin's disease, immune disorders etc.
- Mesenchymal stem cells divides and produces connective tissue, cartilages and bones components. It helps in repairing of tissues and curing metabolism disorders.
Cord blood are highly advantageous. It is also called as "Life Saver" and "Biological Insurance" agent for human beings. The success in curing disease are highly effective since there are least rejection chances during transplantation, if used by himself/herself or among siblings.
What are the composition of cord blood ?
Cord blood is composed of red blood cells(RBCs), white blood cells(WBCs), platelets, plasma etc. Cord blood in general is a normal blood according to its similarity in compositions. But there are some additional or higher constituents which are strongly required for developing foetus. Cord blood are unique due to additional constituents include blood forming hematopoietic stem cells, tissues forming mesenchymal stem cells, higher nos. of lymphocytes and immature immune cells. The higher nos. of lymphocytes present in WBCs acts as guard which restrict or engulf foreign particles and bacterias.
Cord Blood- Overall
The process of collection of cord blood is simple. The Banking of cord blood is quite expensive and all parents won't be able to pay the monthly charges. In such case, parents can use available public cord blood banking. Note: blood banking and cord blood banking are different terms.
Environment are changing rapidly and new infections, diseases are emerging over the world. Climate change and other adverse conditions brings harmful mutations on living beings. Although out of this new infections and diseases, human minds are developing and discovering new techniques for human welfare. It'll be better if parents preserve cord blood which might be elixir in future.