Umbilical Cord Blood Saves Lives
Cord blood, also known as placental blood, is the blood that remains in umbilical cord and placenta following a live birth. There are 3 supplies of stem cells: umbilical cord blood, embryonic cells and bone marrow. Adult stem cells from bone marrow have limited uses while embryonic stem cell research is a major area of controversy. Umbilical cord blood stem cells are more grow in number and can be successfully substituted for embryonic stem cells in research and treatment.
There are advantages to using cord blood stem cells:
– It is easy to collect cord blood without posing any risk to the newborn or mother. Cord blood banking allows stem cells to be frozen and stored for immediate use in the future. This is not possible with bone marrow donation since it takes time to find a matching and willing donor.
– As cord blood stem cells are young and less mature, they can be transplanted already when there is a half match. Bone marrow transplant requires perfect match between donor and recipient.
– Cord blood stem cells are less likely to attack the patient’s own tissues than bone marrow stem cells. There is also a reduced likelihood of transmitting certain viruses when cord blood is used.
Umbilical cord blood stem cells have the possible to develop into many types of cells such as muscle, nerve or blood cells. Cord blood stem cells are able to regenerate immune system and replace damaged or diseased cells. Currently, cord blood is being used to treat blood disorders, certain cancer and auto-immune diseases.
While much research nevertheless needs to be done, there have already been some meaningful advances in stem cell therapies. Researchers are looking into the ability of cord blood stem cells to replace or repair damaged tissues and organs. Since these cells can repair damaged tissues, they could be used to treat Parkinson, heart disease, stroke, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis and diabetes.
In recent breakthroughs of stem cell research, scientists have been able to differentiate cord blood stem cells into a kind of lung cell, grow mini liver and develop bone and cartilage. These preliminary findings show that cord blood stem cells offer great possible in the treatment of lung and liver diseases, and acute kidney failure. Cord blood cells can potentially repair organs damaged by illness or disease. Due to the harsh shortage of organ donors, these cells could be transplanted into the body in much the same way organ transplants are done today. Scientists are hopeful that these cells will regenerate into organs in the human body.
Umbilical cord blood is nevertheless in the early stages of use in scientific and medical research. Studying these cells will help researchers understand how they are able to transform into a wide range of more specialized cells that make up the human body. Some of the most serious medical conditions such as cancer and birth defects are caused by problems that occur somewhere in the cell course of action. A better understanding of how normal development occurs and disease processes can permit researchers to develop new and improved approaches to treating diseases and injuries.