Learn about stem cell banking
Stem cell banking refers to the collection, processing and storage of potentially life-saving stem cells for future use in therapies and regenerative medicine. The process is managed and carried out by a professional stem cell bank.
While public banks allow people to donate their stem cells for public use, private stem cell banks allow you to store stem cells specifically for your child and family. Here we will explain the function of stem cells, what they can do and how you can store them privately for potential future use.
What are stem cells?
Stem cells play a vital role in the function of our bodies. They are a specialist cell type with the ability to divide and transform into a wide variety of other cells, in a process called ‘differentiation’. When stem cells differentiate, they help to develop, repair and maintain function within blood, muscle, bone, organs, skin and other tissues in the human body.
First stem cell transplant is a success
Treat over 85 diseases and conditions
Everyone is born with stem cells, but they diminish over time
Present in over 5,000 clinical trials
Uses of stem cells
There are two main categories of stem cell; embryonic and adult. Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent, meaning they can become any cell type. However, they are often regarded as unethical and invasive to collect1. On the other hand, adult stem cells – or multipotent stem cells – can be collected from cord blood, skin, bone marrow and milk teeth using much less invasive procedures.
The therapeutic uses of adult stem cells depend on whether they are haematopoietic (HSCs) or mesenchymal (MSCs).
Haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs)
Can differentiate into all types of blood cells; white, red and platelets. They are found in cord blood, peripheral blood and bone marrow. HSCs are used in over 85 standard therapies to treat blood and inherited disorders such as anaemia, bone marrow cancers and leukaemia.2
Future Health Biobank specialises in cord blood stem cell banking; a non-invasive process where the cells are collected from the baby’s umbilical cord after delayed cord clamping.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs)
Can differentiate into a variety of tissue cells within bone, cartilage, muscle and fat. They are found within umbilical cord, bone marrow and milk teeth and are present in over 1,000 clinical trials3 into treating a large number of disorders, including spinal cord injury, cardiovascular and autoimmune diseases.4
Future Health Biobank specialises in tooth and cord tissue stem cell banking. Both are non-invasive processes where the cells are collected from your child’s fallen milk teeth or your baby’s umbilical cord.
Why choose stem cell banking for your family?
Turning to a private stem cell bank gives you the opportunity to collect and preserve your children’s own stem cells (autologous stem cells), should they ever need them in future therapies.
Future Health Biobank specialises in storing HSCs and MSCs found in umbilical cord blood, cord tissue and milk teeth. These are a 100% HLA match to the child they are collected from, and offer a 25% match to their siblings. Stem cells with a close HLA match have a much higher likelihood of transplant success and carry a lower risk of rejection in the patient.
One small umbilical cord or tooth sample can yield a high stem cell count for multiple potential uses, if processed and stored by a professional stem cell bank. This can act as a valuable lifeline for decades to come.