Cord tissue banking is becoming increasingly popular as an additional step expecting parents can take to invest in their newborn’s future well-being. This tissue contains a completely different type of stem cell not found in cord blood, called a mesenchymal stem cell (MSC).
These MSCs are multipotent, which means they can differentiate into many types of cells, including organ, muscle, skin, bone, cartilage, and fat cells. This gives them enormous potential for treatment—there are over 300 clinical trials currently researching future treatments for medical conditions including Type 1 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, cerebral palsy, brain and spinal cord injuries, and many more.
But MSCs can do more than grow new tissue. They can give signals to other cells to start healing chronic wounds or to prevent harmful inflammation caused by autoimmune, immune-related, and neurodegenerative conditions such as Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, ALS, cerebral palsy, and many others. These versatile properties have the potential to make MSCs help us overcome some of the most difficult-to-treat medical conditions.
This means that choosing to bank cord tissue, along with cord blood, gives you access to both the ever-expanding benefits of cord blood and the MSCs in cord tissue that are at the center of the fastest growing area of stem cell research. MSC therapies have been approved in the European Union, Australia, and Canada already—with clinical trials showing great promise in the U.S. And billions of dollars are being spent on research all over the world to turn this potential into reality.
This research represents the future of medical practice.