Top 5 Stem Cell Facts
Posted by Cells4Life on Sep 10, 2013 in Stem Cell Facts | 0 comments
Stem cells can be found in various parts of the human body. Here’s a list of useful stem cell facts you should know:
1. All new
Thanks to stem cells, you get a whole new skin approximately every four weeks, a new gut lining every few days and a staggering 2 million new red blood cells every second.
2. Skin on demand
Doctors have used skin stem cells to grow entire sheets of epidermis in the lab, only with no hairs or sweat glands. This skin can be used as grafts for patients with severe burns.
3. Pearly whites
Researchers discovered stem cells in the dental pulp of human teeth (DPSCs) in 2000. As time goes on, we continue to find them lurking in new parts of the body.
4. Stem cell bombshell
Carbon-14 produced by Cold War nuclear bomb testing has enabled researchers to determine that the heart can regenerate itself (very slowly) thanks to stem cells.
In the last 20 years, more than 20,000 patients have received umbilical cord blood transplants – for the most part treating leukemia and blood disorders in children.
The lifesaving power of umbilical cord blood stem cells and the regenerative healing of cord tissue is no longer a secret. As stem cell treatments and research advance, more and more parents are opting to bank their newborn baby’s cord blood and tissue. Find out how stem cells are being used in medicine today.
Umbilical cord blood is the blood remaining in the cord after your baby has been born and the cord has been cut and clamped. It contains valuable stem cells that can be used in a variety of medical treatments such as regenerating the immune system after chemotherapy. Stem cells are known as ‘the building blocks of life’. They have the unique ability to become other types of cells in the body such as the blood, nerve cells, muscle, bone, and cartilage.
Why are umbilical stem cells so valuable?
Cord blood stem cells can only be collected at birth, so it is important to make the decision to do cord tissue storage several weeks before your due date.
Cord Tissue stored at birth have many advantages – they are readily available for your family if needed, they are considered to be the ‘youngest and freshest’ type of stem cell, and importantly there is a greater potential of a stem cell match between siblings.
Stem cells from the cord blood have been used for more than 20 years for the treatment of a number of disorders of the blood such as leukemia, lymphoma and thalassemia, which previously had been treated with bone marrow.
The umbilical cord blood collection process
After the safe delivery of your child, your obstetrician or midwife cleans the umbilical cord (with the materials provided in the Cells4Life kit) and inserts the blood bag needle into the umbilical vein. The blood flows into the bag by gravity. The blood bag tubing is clamped, sealed and labeled to await courier collection. The whole process takes only a few minutes and causes no pain for mother or baby.