Stem cells are parent cells that transform into other cells in the body.
This ability to differentiate into any desired tissue or organ makes them exceptional. No other cells in the body to show it.
This property to form other body cells is made as an application in medicine.
They are isolated and then stored to use them in the future in organ damage or tissue replacements.
They are generally obtained from the bone marrow of an adult person. In newborns. they are obtained from the umbilical cord.
Stem cell storage is rapidly gaining importance due to a rise in the incidence of diseases that require tissue repair. By this stem cell therapy, there are hopes to treat even some dreadful diseases. Some of them include disorders like cancer, diabetes, genetic disorders, etc.
Stem cells storage
Any living tissue once isolated from a living being gets damaged over time. This is because of the saprophytic bacteria. But isolated tissues can be stored for a long time in safe from by use of cold temperatures.
Stem cells are stored after obtaining them from the blood of the baby umbilical cord. They are stored in stem cell banks.
Stem cell banking is done with the intention to use those stored stem cells in times of need of any family member’s health issue. Trying to use stem cells from any donor has a possibility of allergic reactions and sometimes even rejections. So using cells from the same family can be advantageous.
Stem cells can also be obtained from bone marrow, but their quantity is very less. Also, the rate of production is low. Hence it may be insufficient to suffice an adult human in times of need. But the stem cells obtained from umbilical cord blood are profuse. They also have a good level of multiplication and of sufficient concentration to meet the requirement of an adult person of 5okg body weight.
The stem cells banks are equipped with cryo tanks, i.e., tanks with freezing temperatures inside. The stem cells are stored in liquid nitrogen, which is again very cold, around -200o C or more. Further, they are maintained under tight aseptic conditions. Since they have to be maintained for years together, great care has to be taken.
In these stem cells storage banks, the cells can be kept alive for many years. Hence they can be used in times of need. They can also be given to those in the emergency requirement by consent of the donor. Though the cells are stored, their growth for chances of multiple uses is minimal. Hence one set of stem cell storage mostly suffices a one-time requirement.
Though there is no concrete scientific proof of its applicability, but scientists are hopeful. So many mothers ask for stem cell storage of their newborn babies. There are many government labs and also private providers in this field. But the ability of such institutes to provide storage for such a long time is unsure. They promise and get it done. But reliability on storage and performance of such long storage periods are also be considered.