Treatments & Therapies

Stem cells from umbilical cord blood – treatment, effects and risks

Stem cells from umbilical cord blood

Stem cells from umbilical cord blood are in great demand in medical research and also in the treatment of numerous diseases today, so many consider them to be a miracle cure and all-rounder. This is mainly due to the fact that this type of stem cell can differentiate into very different cell types – they are therefore referred to as pluripotent.

Different types of stem cells

However, stem cells are not only found in umbilical cord blood – the entire human organism is ultimately based on stem cells. They look like any other cell , but also have the ability to grow indefinitely and thus e.g. B. to create tissue or an entire organism. But not all stem cells are the same – because there are different types, each with different tasks or abilities.

The stem cells from the umbilical cord are so-called adult stem cells – they are multipotent and can therefore develop into different types of cells and tissues, but not just any one. They are mainly used to treat diseases of the hematopoietic system, e.g. B. in leukemia or blood disorders. There are around 20 adult stem cell types known today, each of which is specialized in a specific tissue. For example, bone marrow stem cells are responsible for the formation of new blood cells, while stem cells in the small intestine are responsible for the constant renewal of small intestine cells.

On the other hand, the ability of any differentiation is reserved for the embryonic stem cells, whose totipotency is present only a few days after fertilization. This means that the cells can initially transform into any cell type and also form placenta cells, so that a whole person or organism can develop from them. After a few days, however, the embryonic stem cells are only pluripotent, i.e. they can still differentiate into any tissue, but no longer form placenta cells – the formation of a completely new organism is therefore no longer possible at this stage.

Functionality & advantages of adult stem cells from umbilical cord blood

In contrast to the stem cells that are present in the human body for life, the multipotent adult stem cells from umbilical cord blood are still very young and agile – they divide much more frequently and are therefore so popular in medicine for the treatment of various diseases.

Due to their very young age, the stem cells are still undamaged and unencumbered, which is a great advantage for further use. Even if the umbilical cord blood is not usually used to treat illnesses in the child itself, it is still worth freezing. Because the blood and its stem cells can also be used to help relatives, acquaintances or strangers – with private storage, the owner has full control over the umbilical cord blood and the stem cells it contains.

Provision for the future: store stem cells yourself or donate them?

Stem cells from the umbilical cord blood can be stored at private stem cell banks such as Seracell Pharma AG .The blood taken by trained staff after birth is preserved at around -180 degrees Celsius and can then usually be used for life, since all processes come to a standstill at such low temperatures. Whether the umbilical cord blood is ultimately used for personal use or donated is up to the expectant parents themselves.

It is also possible to donate the blood taken directly after the birth without having to store it privately for a fee. These donations are used for medical research as well as made available to strangers for the treatment of diseases – decisions are usually made as needed.

Taking blood from the umbilical cord is completely painless for both the mother and the newborn baby – another advantage over stem cell donation as an adult. As soon as the baby’s umbilical cord has been cut, the blood contained in the umbilical cord is taken and immediately prepared for transport in a special container, but mother and baby are not aware of this.

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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.