Why should you Store?

Since the first successful case of umbilical cord blood transplant more than 30 years ago, the medical community has been studying, researching, and conducting clinical trials to find innovative medical solutions using umbilical cord blood to save countless patients at crucial times. With bioscience’s rapid advancement, there is now enormous potential for regenerative medicine using stem cells from umbilical cord blood. Stem cells extracted from umbilical cord blood have an ability called self-renewal, meaning they can differentiate itself to make more stem cells. These are known as Hematopoietic Stem Cells (HSCs) which can produce blood and immune system cells that have significant medical values.

A History of Cord Blood

The world’s first case of cord blood transplant was performed in 1988. Matthew Farrow suffered from Fanconi anemia, a rare but serious blood disorder that prevents bone marrow from making enough new blood cells. When he was only 5 years old, he received an allogenic cord blood transplant at Hôpital Saint-Louis, Paris, France in October 1988. The cord blood came from his newly borne younger sister. After successful transplantation, Matthew is now a healthy adult, not only a husband and a father, but he also works in a cord blood bank, sharing his story of how cord blood saved his life.

Six Reasons to Save

Save time and money
During medical emergencies, time is of the essence. Time otherwise lost when searching for a direct HLA matched for transplantation can be saved if your child’s cord blood is being cryopreserved for such medical uncertainties. Upon thawing, your baby’s stem cells can be cultivated or used immediately for medical therapy.

Three generations of health assured
There have been successful clinical trials using stem cells to treat illnesses such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, arthritis, cancer, etc. This offers new hope not only for the baby’s parents, but grandparents too.

Development of regenerative medicine
STEM cell research projects has been extended to regenerative medicine and anti-aging treatment. At the current high rate of investments in Bioscience R&D, we can expect to see significant breakthroughs in the development of umbilical cord blood use.

The purest stem cells
Immediate extraction of cord blood at birth provides the largest number of active and viable stem cells, which in turn improves the success rate of transplantation and stem cell therapies..

No matching needed
The largest concern with stem cell donations is usually Graft versus host disease (GvHD), a condition where the donated cells attack the recipient body. With stem cells from the same individual, it is a 100% match, eliminating the chance of rejection and complication.

High degree of convergence
Patients receiving their own cord blood stem cells or those by siblings or parents face a lower chance of rejection and GvHD.

Clinical Trials Today,
Stem Cell Therapies Tomorrow

Stem cells from cord blood are often called “universal cells” in the medical community. Scientists over the last twenty years have proven that stem cells can treat as many as 113 diseases and regenerative treatments, including cancers, blood, innate immune system disorders and metabolic disorders. Major breakthroughs have also been made in the fields of lung, skin, and nervous system diseases.


What Gives Life Can Save Lives Too

The umbilical cord is a connection between the baby’s stomach and the placenta in the mother’s womb during pregnancy. Towards the final stages of pregnancy, the placenta passes antibodies through the umbilical cord to the baby. This enhances the baby’s immunity against infections for about three months after birth.

Cord blood is rich in hematopoietic stem cells (HSC), which assist the fetus’s generation of blood (red blood cells, platelets and etc.) and enhance the immune system (lymphocytes, immune cells, etc.). Your baby’s cord blood stem cells are a perfect genetic match for your newborn, and they have a high probability of being a suitable match for siblings and parents, reducing and even eliminating the risk of Graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) or transplant rejection. Saving your baby’s cord blood provides your family with the best chance of survival, recovery, and a renewed quality of life when facing a life-threatening disease or condition.

Comparing Cure to Cure

ItemsUmbilical Cord BloodUmbilical Cord Tissue


Umbilical cord blood is the excess blood from the cord and/or the placenta after the baby is born.

The cord tissue from umbilical cord is also a rich source of valuable stem cells.

Stem cell types

Stem cells derived from cord blood are called hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). They are the building blocks of the body’s blood and immune systems.

Stem cells from cord tissues are known as mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). They have shown great potential in the fields of regenerative medicine, tissue engineering and gene therapy.

Clinical trial application and indications

Cord blood’s Hematopoietic Stem Cells (HSCs) can repair and replace blood cells previously damaged by diseases, chemotherapy or other medical conditions, as well as treat blood, immune, metabolic diseases.

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) from cord tissues can differentiate into a variety of cell types, including bone, cartilage, muscle, nerve and others to treat tissues or organs degenerated by diseases. Cord tissue stem cells have the enormous opportunity to make regenerative medicine a life-saving reality.

Process: Painless, Safe and Reliable

1. Collection
Within 12 hours after being notified by the expectant parents, our specialized and dedicated courier team will retrieve the umbilical specimens from the hospital of birth with a temperature control incubator and send it to our laboratory for processing and long term cryopreservation.

2. Identity Verification:
The umbilical specimen collected shall be verified again upon reaching Cryolife’s laboratory to ensure accurate identify of the specimen. A unique ID code shall be assigned to the sample as part of privacy protection.

3. Sample Retrieval
Before processing, a small portion of cord blood sample, together with the maternal blood, will be retrieved for stipulated tests for infectious diseases and blood grouping. This is part of AABB’s requirements to ensure that the stored stem cells are fit for future transplants and therapies.

4. Automated Processing:
The red blood cells and plasma from the cord blood sample shall be removed to harvest the cord blood stem cells. This process is performed by AXP (AutoXpressTM Platform), an advance automated cell recovery system which is functionally enclosed and sterile, ensuring contamination control and the efficient recovery of the mononuclear cells (MNCs) from the cord blood.

5. Controlled-Rate Freezing and Storage:
After processing, cryoprotectant will be added to the processed cord blood unit and it will then be ready for long term cryopreservation. To ensure long term stem cell’s quality and viability, the unit will undergo a slow freezing process at a controlled rate until it reaches -90’C before it is transferred to a vapourised phase liquid nitrogen tank at -185C or lower for long term storage. AABB’s guideline is to store at -150C or lower.

6. On-going Quality Assurance:
CRYOLIFE conducts a biannual (twice a year) quality assurance program to ensure the quality of cryopreserved cord blood units in each storage tank is being monitored. The QA testing process and the results are randomly audited and verified by third party auditors from ISO, HK Q-Mark plus AABB. All results are tabulated and are openly published in CRYOLIFE’s Newsletter and Website.