Understanding the Difference between Cord Tissue and Cord Blood

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As far as modern medicine is concerned, the stem cell is a true marvel without any doubt. Stem cells derived from the blood of the umbilical cord has already been used for the treatment of over 80 serious conditions and diseases. This includes blood and immune system disorders such as Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome and sickle-cell disease and blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma. No wonder it is considered to be one of the most crucial biological breakthroughs of the century. 

Researchers and clinicians across the globe are extremely confident that the life-saving potential of stem cells is much more compared to what is known at present. Several hundreds of clinical trials are in progress at the moment on the application of cord tissue cells. Some of these trails indicate that these cells can be used with great results for the treatment of debilitating conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, Type-1 diabetes, heart disease, and others. 

As a parent, you may be confused about the difference between cord tissue or cord blood. In this brief article, we will discuss how they differ and why both of them can be a potentially lifesaving investment for a family. 

Difference between Cord Tissue and Cord Blood:

Cord blood from the umbilical cord and placenta after childbirth is a rich source of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). Following delivery, the umbilical cord is clamped and cut, and the cord blood is collected in a sterile collection bag. This entire process causes no pain or risk to the mother or the baby. 

The unique property of cord blood is that it contains adult stem cells in abundance. These cells can differentiate into different types of cells and can be used for treating certain metabolic disorders and cancers as well as the immune system and blood-related disorders. After their extraction from cord blood, stem cells can be isolated, extracted, and preserved for future treatments. 

On the other hand, cord tissue is the actual umbilical cord of the baby from which cord blood is extracted. Cord tissue is a substantial source of mesenchymal stem cells or MSCs. Mesenchymal stem cells may be referred to as a type of stem cell that is completely different from the ones found in cord blood. Cord tissue stem cells are proven to be extremely potent for the treatment of connective tissue disorders and regenerative medicine.  

Cord Blood Stem Cells Vs Cord Tissue Stem Cells

FDA has already approved the use of cord blood stem cells as the routine treatment of more than 80 different conditions. These stem cells can play a crucial role in protecting the body from immune system disorders and blood-related conditions by differentiating into any blood component.   

The mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) present in the cord tissue are also capable of differentiating into different cell types such as fat cells, cartilage, bone, skin, muscle, and organ. However, at present, there are no FDA-approved treatments using cord tissue stem cells. As mentioned earlier, several researchers are currently conducting clinical trials to explore the possibilities of using cord tissue stem cells for the future treatment of injuries to bones and cartilage, spinal cord injuries, Parkinson’s disease, lung cancer, Type-1 diabetes, and heart disease. 

Cord Blood Banking & Cord Tissue Banking:

Many of today’s parents are interested about the available options for cord blood banking from AmeriCord because its benefits were discovered way back in 1988. Since then more than thirty-five thousand cord blood transplants have already taken place. The benefits of stem cells in cord tissue were discovered much later and its potential is still being researched. 

As things stand now, it can be confusing for the parents to decide whether they should bank cord blood, cord tissue, or both. However, it is highly probable that in the days to come, banking both cord blood and cord tissue stem cells will offer the widest range of treatment options for the future. 

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