umbilical-cord-new-hopeBetter late then never, Indian scientists plans not to throw away the umbilical cord tissue which is enrich with valuable Mesenchymal  stem cells, that help to form bone, cartilage, tendon, ligament cell etc.

Mesenchymal stem cells are adult stem cells and are found in the bone marrow as well. These stem cells can form a variety of cells, including bone, cartilage, tendon, ligaments, fat and muscle.

Both umbilical cord blood and cord tissue is a rich source of valuable stem cells. In near future LifeCell (which is presently involved in private cord blood banking) decided to start collecting umbilical cord tissue along cord blood (which is rich in blood cell producing haemopoetic stem cells).

Scientists believe that collecting mesenchymal stem cell would be a challenging tasks for them. The cord has to be cut into tiny pieces and the cord tissue has to be digested using enzymes for harvesting the mesenchymal stem cells.

According to Dr. Ajit Kumar, Chief Scientists Officer, LifeCell, the approximate number of mononuclear stem cells per centimetre of cord is 1,00,000. The mesenchymal stem cells are separated from the mononuclear ones. One in 300 mononuclear cells turns out to be a mesenchymal stem cell. The separated stem cells are cultured to increase their numbers.

A 20 cm-long cord tissue would yield 5,000-6,000 mesenchymal stem cells. These stem cells are cultured and their numbers increase to 5-15 million through repeated multiplication,  The multiplication process takes about 3 weeks.

In near future anyone shall  be able to store both cord blood and cord tissue for Rs 1.15 lakh for a time period of 20 years. While it would cost Rs 40,000 to store cord tissue for 20 years, and Rs 75,000 to store cord blood for the same period, confirmed Mr. Mayur Abhaya, President and Executive Director of LifeCell.

Great news LifeCell, as usual great thinking, but what will happen to poor people? RS 1.15 lakh is beyond their rich, do you have any plan for them?

Source: The Hindu