What is Cord Tissue?
The tissue of the umbilical cord, or 'cord tissue', is an additional source of valuable stem cells.
Your baby’s umbilical cord is made of tissue that protects and insulates the veins responsible for carrying blood to and from mom and baby during pregnancy. In addition to playing the role of protector, your baby’s umbilical cord tissue is packed with several types of stem cells, including Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs), which are different than the Hematopoietic Stem Cells (HSCs) found in abundance in cord blood.
Cord Tissue Stem Cells
Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) can rapidly divide, regenerate, and differentiate into many cell types including neural cells, bone cells, and cartilage. They also have the ability to respond to inflammation and aid in tissue repair. These unique qualities have researchers excited about their potential to help improve certain conditions affecting cartilage, muscle and nerve cells. 19
What is Cord Tissue Banking?
Cord tissue banking allows families to secure an additional source of stem cells that work in a different way than cord blood stem cells do. Cord tissue banking is the process of collecting the umbilical cord tissue (after the cord blood has been collected) and cryogenically freezing the stem cells within for potential future medical use.
When it comes to cord tissue banking, it’s important to understand how the umbilical cord tissue tissue is processed and stored, as it varies among cord tissue services.
ViaCord goes the extra mile to extract the cord tissue cells prior to freezing and storage, so your cells will be ready to use if needed. Some banks simply store segments of the cord tissue, without extracting the stem cells first, resulting in a final product that is not ready for use.
See How ViaCord's Cord Tissue Service Delivers More Value
What's All The Excitement About?
Although cord tissue stem cells have no proven uses yet, their unique qualities, such as their ability to respond to inflammation, help the immune system, and aid in tissue repair have scientists and researchers very excited about their potential use. A significant amount of research is underway to better understand how MSCs from cord tissue could play a role in future therapies that could benefit from their properties, like:
Type 1 diabetes
Sports injuries (cartilage)
In fact, scientists and researchers are interested in MSCs from cord tissue to help possibly heal damage done by COVID-19. Clinical Research Studies are underway using stem cells from cord tissue in the treatment of Covid-19. The studies are very small, and results are not published, however it shows how versatile and potentially valuable cord tissue stem cells are. Click on the studies below for more details:
University of Miami (USA)
Wuhan Union Hospital (China)
The range of conditions using MSCs in trials demonstrates their great potential and is a reason why more and more families are choosing to bank their baby’s cord tissue.
Who Can Use Your Baby's Cord Tissue?
When it comes to using your baby’s cord tissue stem cells, immediate biological family members may also benefit. Compatibility is a reason why families bank cord tissue.
Your baby will be 100% compatible
Parents will be 100% compatible
Siblings will be 75% compatible
Grandparents will be 25% compatible
Our Cord Tissue Service Is Different. It Really Matters.
When it comes to your baby's umbilical cord tissue who you bank with matters. Here are three important areas to consider:
ViaCord is the only family bank accredited by the AABB for processing and storing newborn stem cells from both umbilical cord blood and cord tissue.
We go the extra step to extract your baby's cord tissue stem cells prior to storage to best prepare them for potential use. Our process can recover all the stem cell types from the cord tissue – to get your family more cells.40
We store your cells in a five-compartment bag, providing you with more options and greater flexibility if the cells are ever used.
Learn more about our Cord Tissue service
How Is Cord Tissue Collected?
Just like our cord blood collection process, collecting cord tissue is a simple process.
Collecting cord tissue is safe, painless and will not interfere with your birth plan or your bonding time with your new baby.
After your baby is born, your medical professional will clamp and cut the umbilical cord. The blood will be collected from the cord so all that is left is the tissue of the umbilical cord. Your medical professional will cut and place the remaining umbilical cord tissue in a sterile, protective storage cup that is provided in our collection kit.
When the collection is complete, we'll send a courier to pick up your collection kit for delivery to our processing lab. There, ViaCord’s lab specialists extract the stem cells from the umbilical cord tissue, prior to storage, to prepare the cells for future medical use.
Read more about our process and storage technique here