Stem Cells Storage Related Terms
BLOOD CORD STEM CELLS
These are stem cells, which are present in the blood of the umbilical cord and are collected at the time of birth. They have most favourable characteristics as they are very versatile. Its youth make them especially attractive because their “life” once transplanted is longer than adult cells, which already have been differentiated within our body. Nowadays Blood Cord Stem Cells are a reality and have become an alternative source to bone marrow transplant.
MESENCHYMAL STEM CELLS (MSC)
Are a type of stem cells, which have the capacity to self-renewing and can differentiate from other type of cells (pulmonary, cardiac, neural…), as they can repair damaged tissue. The Blood Cord tissue is a rich source of these types of cells, which have a great potential in the field of regenerative medicine due to its proliferation and immuno-modulating capacity.
HAEMATOPOIETIC STEM CELL (HSC)
Are a type of immature stem cells, which as they develop they become responsible for the formation of blood components (White Blood Cells, Red Blood Cells and Platelets) and the human body´s immune system.
Is the carried out with the patient´s own cells.
A transplant that involves using cells from a family donor (family related) or not family (not related).
The process of freezing the sample (in liquid nitrogen tanks, progressively cooling it until it reaches a temperature of approximately -190ºC) so that they are safely stored for long periods.
Place where the samples are manipulated; especially designed to be pollutant-free. These rooms must have a strictly controlled environment: air particles, temperature, humidity, air flow, inside air pressure and lighting.
STEM CELLS LABORATORY
Facilities which allow the storage of Umbilical Cord blood samples. If it is a private bank, through a contract the parents are guaranteed the cells will be stored during the time period agreed by both parties and used, should it become necessary, as a possible treatment for the child. When it is a public facility, the donation is anonymous and it will be used if it matched with a patient who might need it.
SOURCES: MedlinePlus (www.nlm.nih.gov) – CSIC (www.csic.es) – Instituto Nacional del Cáncer (www.cancer.gov)