Cord Blood Collection & Storage

page_cord_blood_storageGeneral umbilical cord blood storage processing best practices include:

  1. Check-in of the collection kit and cord blood bag. Bar coded labels assigned specifically for each cord blood unit are used on the cord blood collection bag and throughout the process so the cord blood stem cells can always be identified. The cord blood bag is weighed to estimate the volume of cord blood.
  2. A sample is evaluated to determine the number of stem cells in the cord blood.
  3. Red blood cell depletion is performed, to separate the red blood cells from the white cells.
  4. The white blood cells and plasma are then transferred from the cord blood collection bag to a satellite cord blood bag for further processing.
  5. The satellite cord blood bag is put in a centrifuge to further separate the white blood cells from the plasma.
  6. The white blood cells (where the stem cells are located) are then transferred to a cord blood stem cell freezing bag.
  7. A sample is taken to determine the number of cells in the final unit, including CD34+ cells, the one cell that has been consistently shown to be associated with positive outcomes upon transplant (the more the better).3,6-8
  8. A cryopreservant is added to the cord blood stem cell freezing bag to protect the stem cells during the freezing and thawing processes
  9. The cord blood stem cell unit is gradually cooled in a control rate freezing machine so that the cord blood stem cells aren’t “shocked” and damaged by the drastic drop in temperature.
  10. Once the cord blood stem cell unit reaches approximately -90 degrees Celsius in the control rate freezing machine, it is transferred and stored in a cryopreservation tank above liquid nitrogen level at approximately -196 degrees Celsius.

When you bank placenta stem cells in addition to cord blood, you may significantly increase the number of cord blood stem cells available for transplant. This is meaningful because numerous studies have demonstrated that the more cord blood stem cells used for transplant, the higher the probability of patient survival.3,6-8

Placenta Processing:

After cord blood is collected from the umbilical cord, the umbilical cord is then clamped and the placenta is sent intact to a laboratory for processing. The processing of the placenta requires many additional steps that allow for laboratory technicians to draw more blood from the placenta. Once the blood from the placenta is collected in a separate collection bag, it is then processed similarly to cord blood.