What is Mesenchymal Stromal Cell Culture Cord Tissue Processing
Did you know that not all cell banks process and store cord tissue the same way? In fact, most cord blood/stem cell banks do not process and store cord tissue together as a cellular product. Rather, they store the cord tissue as a whole or as minced tissue instead of isolating the mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) prior to storage.
Different Methods of Processing and Storing Cord Tissue
Scientists have discovered that the umbilical cord is one of the most concentrated sources of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC). MSC is used in experimental treatments for osteoarthritis and sports injuries, as well as cell therapies that differentiate into various tissues and organ cells, including cardiac, nerve, cartilage/bone, and muscle cells. There are over 300 ongoing MSC clinical trials (ClinicalTrials.gov) and over 6000 articles published, which further encourages the pursuit of huge opportunities to use MSC in future cell-based therapies.
Currently, there are two methods that cell banks use to process cord tissue:
Full/Segmented Cord Storage — The umbilical cord is first collected at birth, then washed several times at the lab, immersed within an appropriate solution carrying a cryoprotectant agent, and lastly cryopreserved. The cryoprotectant agents are molecules that protect tissues and cells from being damaged during the freezing process. As an alternative procedure, the cord can also be cut into segments through a similar processes. With Full/Segmented Cord Storage, MSCs are not isolated from the cord. Instead, the hope is that they can someday be retrieved from the cord tissue with high cell yield and viability.
Cell Culture (Isolated MSC) storage — For the purpose of cell therapy on a clinical scale, many steps are performed to process MSCs from cord tissue: cell isolation, expansion, and culture. Then, the extracted cells are placed in a cryoprotectant agent and immediately cryopreserved.
Advantage of HealthBanks’ MSC Culture Cord Tissue Process Method
HealthBanks strives to use our innovative technology and lab techniques to process and store your MSCs. There are many advantages to our process:
- Higher Cell Count – Once the tissue has been frozen as a whole or in minced segments, it can be hard to separate quality cells from the tissue. This is especially difficult when the cryoprotectant agent, DMSO, does not penetrate the whole unit or minced segments very well. By using the culture method and extracting cells as a cellular product, we can expect higher cell count results.
- Cell Growth – The extracted cells obtained from the tissue are not enough for therapeutic use. They often require further cell growth to ensure future clinical readiness. During our HealthBanks MSC culture processing, we conduct a cell growth test to ensure that your precious cells can continue to grow and will still be useful when they are needed in the future.
- Bacteria Test – When bacteria is present in the cord tissue, the cells become ineligible for future use. Storing a whole tissue unit or segmented minced pieces makes it extremely difficult to conduct a bacteria test. However, our HealthBanks MSC Culture Method conducts a bacteria test after your cells are isolated from your tissue, before they are eligible for storing. Rest assured, you can have full confidence knowing that your cells will be viable when you need them most.
Before making any decision about your future, be sure to do your research. When selecting the right cell bank to store your cord tissue, choose an organization that is experienced , accredited, and trusted. HealthBanks is here to help answer any questions you might have and provide the best solution for your future.