Umbilical cord blood is the blood harvested from the blood vessels of the placenta and umbilical cord, after it has been detached from both the newborn and the mother. Umbilical cord blood injections has been approved for use in transplanting stem cells to trigger natural healing and regeneration.

What types of conditions can be treated using umbilical cord blood?

Cord blood contains stem cells that form into blood cells. Therefore, it is highly useful in treating a number of conditions that have to do with diseases and disorders of the blood and the immune system. These include:

  • Joint damage
  • Ligament and tendon damage
  • Degenerative joint disease
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While the purpose of both is to replace unhealthy blood cells with healthy blood cells, there are many factors that seem to make umbilical cord blood injections a preferable option, including:

  • The adult donor of bone marrow must be a perfect “match” with the recipient (usually familial), whereas cord blood, which is embryonic, need not be.
  • Cord blood, which is stored cryogenically, is immediately available, while bone marrow must be harvested from the donor in what can be a painful procedure.
  • Genetic diseases of the donor can be passed along to the recipient in a bone marrow transplant.

Umbilical Cord Blood FAQ's

What Is the difference between umbilical cord matrix and umbilical cord blood?

While both the umbilical cord matrix and umbilical cord blood originate in the umbilical cord, the matrix is taken from Wharton’s jelly, which lines the cord, and the blood is actual blood left in the cord after it is cut. The stem cells found in umbilical cord matrix differentiate into neurons, which transmit neurological signals in the body, and glia, which connect the neurons. The stem cells found in umbilical cord blood differentiate into blood cells.

How does umbilical cord matrix work?

Umbilical cord blood is taken from the cord of an embryo; bone marrow is taken from an adult. This difference in age is thought to impact the stem cells in several ways:

Stem cells from bone marrow form fewer new stem cells to continue the regenerative process than those from cord blood.

Less volume of cord blood is required than bone marrow to achieve the same result. In fact, it is estimated that cord blood contains as much as 10 times the number of stem cells found in bone marrow.

Because the stem cells in cord blood are younger than those in bone marrow, they may have more powerful regenerative properties.

Are some people better candidates for the use of umbilical cord blood vs. bone marrow?

Cord blood may be preferable to bone marrow concentrate for patients:

  • Under 30 years old.
  • Under a certain weight
  • With kidney, lung, liver, or heart condition

Why may umbilical cord blood be a superior regenerative treatment?

Typically, a bone marrow donor is a member of the recipient’s family, with a brother or sister usually the best match. Unfortunately, nearly 70% of those needing a transplant do not have a suitable donor in the family.

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