Processing and Storage

Cord Blood Collection

This happens immediately after your baby’s delivery, the umbilical cord is clamped and the baby separated from the cord. A needle attached to a cord blood collection bag is inserted into the center of umbilical cord. Once properly placed, the placental blood and umbilical cord blood flows into the collection bag, drawn by gravity. Each bag is pre-filled with an FDA approved anti-coagulant to keep the blood from clotting before it reaches our laboratory. The process is non-invasive, painless and generally takes between three and five minutes to complete.

Heparin Free

You can be sure that our blood bags do not contain any Heparin. Heparin is an anti-coagulant that is not approved by the FDA for use in cord blood collection and can be toxic to your baby’s cells. The anti-coagulant we use is called Citrate Phosphate Dextrose, or CPD. CPD is approved by the FDA for use in cord blood collection and helps maintain the viability of the cells. With CPD working as an anti-coagulant and a cell preservative, your baby’s cells are protected while in transport to our laboratory.

Umbilical Cord Segment Collection

Cord tissue contains different stem cells than cord blood known as mesenchymal stem cells. Collection and processing of your umbilical cord segment is done at no extra cost.

The Collection Kit

A BabyCord collection kit specifically for your newborn will be supplied to your hospital prior to the delivery date. Your assigned BabyCord on-call nurse will also bring an extra collection kit before the delivery as extra effort by our committed team. The kit is simply provided to the physician or nurse upon delivery who carefully collects the cord blood and umbilical cord segment.

Transportation after Collection

Once the attending physician or midwife has completed the umbilical blood collection, your sample is picked up from the hospital by one of our representatives. It is then transported to our laboratory for processing.

At BabyCord we process our cord blood using the cutting edge technology of the Sepax 2 system. Sepax 2 is a fully automated closed-system manufactured by Biosafe, a world leader of innovative stem cell processing solutions.

Cord Blood Processing
The advanced technology allows for
  • highly efficient and consistent cell recoveries
  • full tracability and GMP compliance
  • easy handling and safety of processing

The advanced versatile technology of the Sepax system has established itself as the reference in automated adult stem cell banking cell processing and regenerative medicine applications. This state-of-the-art system maximizes the number of clinically viable stem cells extracted from the cord blood.

Dedicated Processing of Your Baby’s Cord Blood

Each unit of cord blood processed is assigned a unique code generated identification that is traceable throughout the processing and preservation procedure to prevent any cross-contamination and secure privacy. Once the stem cells are separated from whole blood, they are collected into a specialized biocompatible multi-segmented cryogenic storage blood bag in preparation for freezing and storage. The freezing bag is clearly labeled with your baby’s name, date of birth, and date of processing in addition to your unique barcode identifier number that contains all information related to the stored blood unit.

Automated Stem Cell Separation for Optimal Cell Viability and Effective Transplant

Our state-of-the-art processing technique includes full cell separation, a method designed to optimize viability and usability of your baby’s stem cells. To protect the stem cells from damage during the freezing process and to ensure optimal cell recovery during thawing, we infused each bag with an effective cell-preserving agent called Dimethyl Sulfoxide or DMSO. After infusing the cell preserving agent, the blood unit is placed in a barcode-labeled overwrap bag as additional protection during storage.
Prior to transplantation, the thawed cells are processed with includes carefully washing them to remove DMSO. Clinical evidence has demonstrated this methodology as being the most successful for stem cell recovery and transplant outcome after freeze storage

Controlled-Rate Cooling and Cryopreservation

“Cryopreservation” is the process of freeze-storing cells at very low temperatures, which is the standard practice for long-term storage of cord blood units to be used for transplantation. Successfully engrafting stem cells in a patient from cryopreserved cord blood has been demonstrated after thawing the stored blood units in a systematic and procedural manner.

Varying the rates of cooling during the initial stages of cryopreservation has been demonstrated to positively affect stem cell recovery after thawing. The initial freezing process is computer-controlled at a pre-set rate followed by storage in our -196°C high capacity liquid nitrogen tanks. Progressively lowering the temperature keeps the cells from going into “shock” before reaching the optimum storage temperature of -196°C. This comprehensive process ensures your baby’s cells have been ideally managed during processing and cryopreservation thus optimizing the number of cell recovered during transplantation.

Secure long-term storage

Our highly efficient liquid nitrogen cryogenic storage freezers can hold up 3000 samples at a time, with the largest storage density. Our cryopreservation blood freezing bags are designed specifically for long-term cryogenic storage. After processing each blood unit a report is provided to the parents detailing all pertinent information relative to your stored cord blood unit. This information includes testing for relevant hematological markers after each collection and processing including CD 34 + (a glycoprotein found on hematopoietic stem cells), total number of stored nucleated cells and the percentage of viable cells present in the collected sample.

Each stored cord blood unit consists of a blood bag and storage canister with both compartments bar code labeled linking the donor’s cells to the canister. Each stored blood unit has three detachable sample segments, that are used for Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) type matching or other confirmatory tests should the cells be needed for someone other than your baby (i.e. HLA type matching determines whether a patient has a suitable donor for stem cell transplant like sibling or relative). The processed cells are your sole property and guaranteed for use by only your family. 

Each stored cord blood unit can be used by the donor, a sibling, a parent, or a relative. The probability that the stem cells will be a match based on HLA typing is:

  • Match for Donor/Child = 100% 
  • Match for Parent = 50% 
  • Match for Sibling = 25%
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