What are Stem Cells?

  • What are Stem Cells?

    A Stem Cell Is Like The Stem Of A Plant:

    Here’s an easy way to understand stem cells. Imagine the stem of a plant that grows, branching out into leaves, flowers and fruits. On windy days, the branches can break. In some seasons the leaves dry up and fall. Despite this wear and tear, the stem finds a way to grow back to its original Self. Similarly, stem cells are the very foundation of the human body. Every part of our body including blood, bones, skin and muscles are formed from master cells known as stem cells.

    These stem cells have three important qualities:

    • Have the capacity to turn into any type of cell in the body such as muscle cell, bone cell, blood cell, tissues and brain cell
    • Can replicate or copy themselves limitlessly
    • Are responsible for repair and regeneration functions in the body

    Owing to these qualities, stem cells are taking center stage in medicine today. Research has proven that stem cells can be used in the treatment of many medical conditions. In the past 50 years, over a million people have benefitted from the power of stem cells and are now living a renewed life.

    The human body has different sources of stem cells such as the bone marrow, tooth, peripheral blood and the umbilical cord.

Why Umbilical Cord?

The umbilical cord that forms the bond between the mother and the baby inside the womb is the richest source of lifesaving stem cells.
There is every reason to preserve the umbilical cord blood and the tissue at the time of birth.

  • Best Source

    The umbilical cord is the richest source of pure, young stem cells.

  • Easy To Collect

    Umbilical cord stem cells can be collected through a simple, non-invasive process within 10 minutes of the baby’s birth, without any harm to the mother or the baby.

  • Long Lasting

    Umbilical cord stem cells when preserved under cryogenic conditions have no expiration date, thereby providing lifetime benefit.

  • Ready to Use

    The preserved stem cells can be easily retrieved at any time, thereby reducing treatment time.

Doctors Trust Stem Cells

  • Umbilical cord stem cell banking with LifeCell occurs routinely across the country at 5000 hospitals through 10,000 gynecologists.

    Dr T.S Sabeeha, Chennai – I see a lot of expectant parents asking me about stem cell banking. I only tell them that it is a lifetime investment they can make for the health of the baby.

    Dr. T.S Sabeeha, Chennai
  • Umbilical cord stem cell banking with LifeCell occurs routinely across the country at 5000 hospitals through 10,000 gynecologists.

    Dr Kamala Selvaraj, Chennai – It is a breakthrough in medicine. They hold the potential to treat many diseases. All along, the umbilical cord has been discarded as a waste product. However, the umbilical cord is loaded with stem cells that can be used to treat conditions such as Leukemia. There are also stem cell clinical trials for conditions such as Autism and Cerebral Palsy.

    Dr. Kamala Selvaraj, Chennai
  • Umbilical cord stem cell banking with LifeCell occurs routinely across the country at 5000 hospitals through 10,000 gynecologists.

    Dr Mukesh Gupta, Mumbai – Umbilical cord cells actually represent one of the purest or the original form of stem cells. The cells are the exact match to the baby’s cell type. They also offer a high probability of match with the siblings or the family members.

    Dr. Mukesh Gupta, Mumbai
  • Umbilical cord stem cell banking with LifeCell occurs routinely across the country at 5000 hospitals through 10,000 gynecologists.

    Dr Meera Agarwal, Mumbai – The biggest advantage of umbilical cord stem cells is that these cells are HLA typed. So, if the baby uses its own stem cells for treatment at a later stage, there is no risk of rejection.

    Dr. Meera Agarwal, Mumbai
  • Umbilical cord stem cell banking with LifeCell occurs routinely across the country at 5000 hospitals through 10,000 gynecologists.

    Dr Anjali Kumar, Gurgaon – Birth time is a wonderful, easy and a pain-free opportunity to collect the cord blood stem cells. The benefits of these stem cells are immense.

    Dr. Anjali Kumar, Gurgaon
  • Umbilical cord stem cell banking with LifeCell occurs routinely across the country at 5000 hospitals through 10,000 gynecologists.

    Dr Jayanthi Reddy, Hyderabad – The future is in stem cell therapy. In my practice I’ve seen parents opt for a second child mainly to preserve the umbilical cord stem cells to help their elder child in a treatment.

    Dr. Jayanthi Reddy, Hyderabad
  • Umbilical cord stem cell banking with LifeCell occurs routinely across the country at 5000 hospitals through 10,000 gynecologists.

    Dr Suvarna Goyal, Mumbai – The biggest advantage is that it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. There is never going to be another opportunity to get so many primitive stem cells of such good quality in such large numbers.

    Dr. Suvarna Goyal, Mumbai
  • Umbilical cord stem cell banking with LifeCell occurs routinely across the country at 5000 hospitals through 10,000 gynecologists.

    Dr Rajeev Punjabi, Mumbai – These umbilical cord stem cells have a great advantage. The possibility of using these stem cells is not just for the newborn but also has very good chance of compatibility with the siblings and the parents of the child.

    Dr. Rajeev Punjabi, Mumbai
  • Umbilical cord stem cell banking with LifeCell occurs routinely across the country at 5000 hospitals through 10,000 gynecologists.

    Dr Poornima Ramakrishnan, Bangalore – Umbilical cord stem cells have some advantages over other source of stem cells including ease of collection and their pristine form. Its usage in treatments has had the highest potency.

    Dr. Poornima Ramakrishnan, Bangalore
  • Umbilical cord stem cell banking with LifeCell occurs routinely across the country at 5000 hospitals through 10,000 gynecologists.

    Dr. Vijayalakshmi, Bangalore – Umbilical cord stem cells are collected at the time of birth. These are naïve cells that can be collected painlessly as against sourcing stem cells from other parts of the body.

    Dr. Vijayalakshmi, Bangalore
  • Umbilical cord stem cell banking with LifeCell occurs routinely across the country at 5000 hospitals through 10,000 gynecologists.

    Dr Preety Agarwal, Gurgaon –The best kind of stem cells are the umbilical cord stem cells. If preserved they can be very useful.

    Dr. Preety Agarwal, Gurgaon

Why Parents Preserve Stem Cells

  • Why do parents preserve umbilical cord stem cells? There are 130000 reasons! Here are some among the 130000 parents who have preserved their children’ s stem cells with us.

    What will be your reason to preserve your baby’s precious stem cells?

    Suman & Rahul, Mumbai – We are prepared for the future. With advent of technology there will be more and more medical conditions that can be treated using stem cells.

    Suman & Rahul, Mumbai
  • Why do parents preserve umbilical cord stem cells? There are 130000 reasons! Here are some among the 130000 parents who have preserved their children’s stem cells with us.

    What will be your reason to preserve your baby’s precious stem cells?

    Anjula Singh, Delhi – Every parent should invest in stem cell banking. We spend so much in material things of the world. This is the best gift that can be given to the child for its future.

    Anjula Singh, Delhi
  • Why do parents preserve umbilical cord stem cells? There are 130000 reasons! Here are some among the 130000 parents who have preserved their children’s stem cells with us.

    What will be your reason to preserve your baby’s precious stem cells?

    Dr.Poornima Ramakrishnan, Bangalore – Preserving the stem cells of your baby is one of the best decisions you can make.

    Dr Poornima Ramakrishnan , Bangalore
  • Why do parents preserve umbilical cord stem cells? There are 130000 reasons! Here are some among the 130000 parents who have preserved their children’s stem cells with us.

    What will be your reason to preserve your baby’s precious stem cells?

    Gaurav Sahu & Shruchita, Delhi – A lot of research is going on in this field. At the same time, doctors are using this in treatments. I had to give this gift to my daughter. In today’s time, it is not really a choice but a must to preserve your child’s stem cells.

    Gaurav Sahu & Shruchita, Delhi
  • Why do parents preserve umbilical cord stem cells? There are 130000 reasons! Here are some among the 130000 parents who have preserved their children’s stem cells with us.

    What will be your reason to preserve your baby’s precious stem cells?

    Rohit & Monika, Bangalore – We knew about stem cells all along and it is a technology that fascinates us. We believe there is immense scope and the future of medicine is all about stem cells. It is a natural & easy decision we had to make.

    Rohit & Monika, Bangalore

Success Stories

  • Vigneswaran

    A New Lease On Life Through The Power of Umbilical Cord Stem Cells

    Vigneswaran was diagnosed with blood cancer when he was in Class XI. As the disease was in advanced stage, he could not use his own adult stem cells. He approached the Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore and was treated using donor umbilical cord stem cells from Australia. Two years later, he was declared cancer free. Vigneswaran was born on February 28, however has started celebrating his birthday on January 18, the day when he underwent the therapy.

  • Nitya

    Umbilical Cord Stem Cells Help Nitya To Win Over Thalassemia

    Nitya, the vivacious daughter of a stationer from Ghaziabad was found to be suffering from Thalassemia. Thanks to their well-wishers, the family discovered the power of stem cells. Nitya was gifted another lease of life through her younger brother. The sibling’s umbilical cord stem cells were preserved at LifeCell and used for the treatment of Nitya’s condition. Nitya is now living a Thalassemia-free life and is a bright student at school!

  • Thamirabarani

    Coimbatore Girl Wins Over Thalassemia With The Help Of Her Brother’s Stem Cells

    Thamirabarani, an 8-year-old girl from Coimbatore was found to be suffering from Thalassemia, a blood disorder. The cure for her came in the form of her younger brother Pugazhendi. When the younger sibling was born, his cord blood was collected and preserved at LifeCell and used for the treatment of Thamirabarani. She is now completely cured of Thalassemia and has embraced childhood in all its glory. She wants to grow up and become a teacher!

LifeCell has released 44 of its preserved stem cell units to its clients for the treatment of medical conditions. Here are stories that showcase how umbilical cord stem cells renewed the lives of two young girls.

Treatments & Research

  • For 30 years, umbilical cord blood stem cells have been used in the treatments of over 80 medical conditions. Across the world, clinical trials are checking the possibilities of using umbilical cord tissue stem cells in the treatments of various lifestyle conditions.

    READ MORE

FAQs

Are you worried about umbilical cord collection and preservation process?
Learn how simple and safe it is to preserve your baby’s unique stem cells without any complications.

Why Preserve?

What is the buzz about stem cells in the research world? Find answers to all the intriguing queries about stem cells and their importance.

  • What are stem cells?

  • Why are stem cells important?

  • Where do stem cells come from?

Stem cells are the undifferentiated biological cells that produce all types of cells in our body. These master cells can divide and differentiate into other body cells and have the ability to renew and repair the damaged tissues. As the stem cells divide, they have the potential to either remain as a stem cell or become any other type of body cell such as brain cells, muscle cells, red blood cells etc.

Stem cells have the ability to regenerate and replace other body cells when damaged or in need of renewal. They have enormous potential to treat various medical conditions and aid in research therapies. The stem cells are widely used in regenerative medicine to treat the damaged tissues and help in organ transplants, cancer treatments etc.

The stem cells are found in various sources such as umbilical cord blood, bone marrow, embryo, peripheral blood, menstrual blood, skin, teeth and placental tissue. Embryonic stem cells are those found in the human embryo, used only in research due to ethical restraints. The stem cells present in the bone marrow and the umbilical cord blood are found to have the promising potential to treat various medical conditions when compared to other sources.

Umbilical Cord Blood Stem Cells

Preserving your baby’s umbilical cord stem cells is once-in-a-lifetime opportunity so it is crucial to comprehend the current benefits, future potential, budding cell therapies etc. These frequently asked questions will help you have a better understanding about the importance of your baby’s potential life savers, the stem cells.

  • What are umbilical cord stem cells?

  • How is umbilical cord blood beneficial to us?

  • Are cord blood stem cells better than bone marrow stem cells?

  • What is HLA matching?

  • Why should I preserve my baby's stem cells?

  • How long can we preserve the stem cells?

  • What diseases are treated using umbilical cord stem cells?

  • What is the future for stem cell therapy?

  • How many times can I use the preserved cord blood stem cells?

  • Is it possible to use the stem cells for siblings or family members in case of need?

After child birth, the umbilical cord is considered as a biological waste but it is the richest source of hematopoietic stem cells. The umbilical cord stem cells are unique, pure and have the ability to renew and repair other body cells.

The umbilical cord stem cells have the potential to treat over 80 medical conditions. If preserved properly, these stem cells are viable even after decades. They have the potential to treat congenital heart diseases, hematopoietic diseases, genetic conditions, neurodegenerative diseases etc. The future potential of umbilical cord stem cells is promising in the fields of emerging therapies and clinical trials.

Yes. Cord blood stem cells are better, due to the following reasons:

  • As cord blood stem cells are not exposed to pathogens, they are pristine (pure) and pose a lower risk of viral contamination, when compared to the stem cells of other sources like bone marrow.
  • Cord blood stem cells are more powerful and have high multiplying capacity.
  • Cord blood stem cells are immunologically immature as they are biologically younger. Thus they offer better matching ability in HLA matching by preventing graft-host disease (transplant rejection) during transplantation treatment.
  • Collecting the cord blood cells is a non invasive, painless procedure while extracting bone marrow stem cells is an invasive and painful process.

Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) is a protein present on the surface of the WBCs, used as markers by the immune system to identify foreign cells. It is crucial that the donor cells containing the HLA molecules should match with the patient for the transplant to be successful. As cord blood stem cells are immunologically immature, it has better HLA matching between a donor and a patient.

Umbilical cord stem cells have the potential to treat the baby as well as its siblings for various medical conditions. The stored stem cells are readily available for treatments and have enormous potential to improve the lives of patients. Preserving these stem cells is a onetime investment but it offers protection for a lifetime.

Umbilical cord stem cells have no expiry date. Hence, it can be preserved for decades till the need arises.

The umbilical cord stem cells have the potential to treat medical conditions such as

  • Leukemia
  • Lymphomas
  • Bone marrow diseases
  • Thalessemia
  • Myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Immune system related disorders
  • Metabolic disorders such as Krabbe disease, Hurler syndrome etc.
  • Bone marrow cancer etc.

Stem cell therapy has a promising future in the fields of regenerative medicine and emerging therapies for serious injuries, genetic conditions, metabolic disorders etc. There are various clinical trials being undertaken around the world to treat medical conditions using stem cell therapy, some of which are:

  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Diabetes
  • Alzheimers disease
  • Autism
  • Brain and spinal cord injuries
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Crohn's disease
  • Lupus
  • Knee cartilage repair
  • Ischemic stroke and many more.

At present, we can use the preserved unit only once. In future, if expansion protocol is available for cord blood stem cells, it can be used for multiple times.

Yes, but HLA matching is required for the transplant.

Umbilical Cord Tissue Stem Cells

  • What are cord tissue stem cells?

  • What are the differences between stem cells in umbilical cord blood and cord tissue?

  • Are there any approved treatments available for Mesenchymal stem cells?

  • What are the future therapeutic scopes for cord tissue stem cells?

The stem cells present in the umbilical cord tissue are a rich source of mesenchymal stem cells. Along with the cord blood, the stem cells in the tissue can also be preserved for its enormous regenerative capacity. These cells can create structural and connective tissues in the body, thus useful in regenerative therapy.

The stem cells present in the umbilical cord tissue are a rich source of mesenchymal stem cells. Along with the cord blood, the stem cells in the tissue can also be preserved for its enormous regenerative capacity. These cells can create structural and connective tissues in the body, thus useful in regenerative therapy. 

  • Cord blood stem cells are hematopoietic in nature while cord tissue contains mesenchymal stem cells.
  • Cord blood stem cells form blood related body cells like RBCs, WBCs, bone marrow etc., while the mesenchymal stem cells of cord tissue form structural and connective tissues.
  • Hematopoietic stem cells can be used to treat neurological, genetic, blood related and metabolic disorders where as mesenchymal stem cells are widely preferred in regenerative therapy.

The research on mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) therapy is still in early stages, and hence there are no approved clinical treatments available yet. However, the future holds good for various MSC therapies as there are many clinical trials showing positive results.

There is a wide therapeutic scope for mesenchymal stem cells of cord tissue in future which includes the potential to treat inflammatory and auto immune diseases, repair of bones, cartilages, heart and blood vessels. At present, there are over 30 clinical trials going on around the world using mesenchymal stem cells. In future, Mesenchymal stem cells can be potentially used to treat the below diseases:

  • Parkinson's disease
  • Lung cancer
  • Injuries to bone and cartilages
  • Heart diseases
  • Gastrointestinal disease
  • Type 1 Diabetes etc

Source: Parents guide to cord blood