Ever wondered how the researchers distinguish and separate these stem cells from the cord blood? Presently we hear a lot about stem cell therapies and obtaining stem cells from bone marrow or umbilical cord blood cells. Lets read through the article and find some complex defined theory of the scientists in simpler words, for you to understand.
Since the cord blood cells are obtained only about 180 ml and still smaller volume of stem cells are obtained from them, therefore, two main things that are to be kept in mind is
- Proper preservation is required to avoid loss.
- Amplification of the cell number is desired.
By performing and perfecting these two criteria we can achieve a greater amount of stem cell supply for treating the patients.
For proper preservation of the cord blood cells many cord blood banks have come into being. They preserve these bloods through cryopreservation which has proved to be very effective. It has been seen that very less amount of progenitor cells are lost through this preservation.
The next obstacle comes for isolation and separation of the stem cells. In case of cord blood cells, separation through density gradient is done. This process cam be simply described as the stem cells have different density compared to those of the blood cells. Therefore using different solvents (fluids) extraction of stem cells are being done. The choice of solvents totally depend upon the quality of cord blood.
Then comes biggest hurdle of culturing the stem cells in order to increase their yield. This is done in special bioreactors where there is a membrane which has growth regulatory factor inducing cells adhered to it. The membrane only allows the factors to be released into the culture medium and not the cells as a whole.
This helps in preventing the cells to contaminate the stem cell yield. The stem cells are grown in a certain media which contains the growth factors. These along with immunological cells as CD34+ secretes cytokines (special chemicals) to protect the cells from external chemical injuries. Thus the process has been reported to amplify the stem cell yield about 30 folds.
Although researches are still on, still we are in need of finding a cost effective and efficient stem cell separating and amplifying machinery. So in the coming days we hope that in order to combat the problem for usage of cord blood cells, researchers find something really magical…