Cord Blood v/s Cord Tissue
Now we know about umbilical cord blood and its importance and why we should save it, so again a term comes cord tissue which we generally mix with cord blood, but there is a difference between both cord blood and cord tissue.
Let’s learn the more about the difference between cord blood and cord tissue and why we should save both, as it is equally important for parents to be aware and have knowledge on both the terms.
Many people have heard of cord blood banking because the benefits of saving the blood were discovered first and the cord blood transfusion has been an FDA- approved treatment for years, but with further research, parents have now found the benefits of saving cord tissue also. But identifying the importance of both has left confusion among parents whether they should bank one or they should bank both.
Cord blood is the blood which remains in the umbilical cord and placenta post delivery, after the birth of the baby the cord is cut leaving approx 1/3rd or 1/2 cup of blood inside, the blood is then collected and transferred into a collection bag with the help of a surgical needle.
Cord tissue is the insulating material surrounding the vessel of the umbilical cord, it is a jelly-like thing which surrounds the vessel, after the birth of the baby the umbilical cord is clamped and cut and a particular section of the cord measuring around four inches in length is saved, these tissues contain several types of stem cells that go to form a person’s nervous system, sensory organs, circulatory tissues, skin. Bone, cartilage, etc.
The main difference is the type of stem cells found in cord blood and cord tissue. In umbilical cord blood, HSC (Hematopoietic stem cells) is found and these cells are used to treat over 80 diseases today and are the one who is majorly mentioned in the news, thus it can develop into any blood component which can protect people from any blood-related disorders or disease including leukemia and lymphoma.
Whereas in cord tissue there is a large quantity of MSC’s (Mesenchymal stem cells) while right now no treatment exists using the placenta tissue but research is growing at a very faster pace, currently MSC’s is a subject of research and is under 50 clinical trials which is told to cater major conditions like heart disease, Type1 diabetes, injuries to bone & cartilage, lung cancer, etc.
Cord blood provides oxygen and essential nutrients to the body; all the blood contains red blood cells, white cells, plasma, and stem cells. The cord blood and mothers blood have the main difference i.e., the fetal serum has abundant hematopoietic stem cells that help in composing the blood and the immune system.
Cord tissue has a jelly-like appearance which contains fats, white cells, and stem cells and serves as an insulator between two arteries and one vein found in the umbilical cord. It contains epithelial and endothelial stem cells which are a great source of Mesenchymal (MSN) stem cells.
So we should make it a point that we should bank both cord blood and tissue, thus cord tissue has an exciting future in medical science, and medical practitioners are practicing to treat various other critical diseases such as autism and cerebral palsy. Parents should be aware of both the terms and try bank both and also know the future use of the stem cells.
Why should we consider banking Cord Tissue?
After 90’s more and more parents in the US are now opting for banking cord tissue along with the cord blood that is probably because of the below reasons:
- Potential Treatment in the future: Scientists are now exploring the area of potential use of these stem cells in few disorders like the nervous system, cartilage, muscles, including Parkinson’s disease, sports injuries, and autism. Currently, there is a research carried on in the Duke University Medical Centre to find out the safety of use of cord tissue for autism.
- Compatibility: Immediate family members can be benefited from your baby’s cord tissue cells with parents having 100% compatibility, siblings with 75% compatibility and grandparents having a 25% of compatibility.
According to current records over 150 clinical research trials have used cord tissue stem cells.
How is cord Tissue collected? Is it same as Cord Blood?
This question might arise in parents mind after they are aware of the term cord tissue since we have ample knowledge on the collection of cord blood as there are several awareness events going on, cord tissue is not that much publicized, a few hospitals also recommend to bank the both.
Just to clear the doubt it is a no different process, just like cord blood collection process collecting tissue cells is also a simple process. It is safe, painless and will not interfere with your birth plan or your bonding time with your new baby.
After the baby is born the umbilical cord is clamped and cut after that the blood is collected in the collection bag and just the tissue is left of the umbilical cord after that. The medical representative will then cut and place the remaining cord in a sterile protective storage cup.
When the collection is complete the kit is then sent to the processing lab, the cord specialist then extracts the stem cells from the umbilical cord before storage to prepare the cells for future use.