What is the Difference Between Cord Blood and Cord Tissue?

Most people now know about cord blood or stem cell treatments. But not everyone may be aware about what it entails. It may spur you to find more information about cord blood and tissue banking. Even though you can store both cord blood and tissue; there are many differences between the two. One may not compensate for the other. Both serve different purposes.

Here’s more on the differences between cord blood and cord tissue.

About Cord Blood

Cord blood is the blood that remains in the placenta and the umbilical cord after the delivery. It is rich in stem cells along with red blood cells, plasma, white blood cells, and platelets. It is collected after the delivery; making it safe for both the child and the mother.

Stems cells can help to treat various diseases and conditions such as cancers, metabolic disorders, blood disorders, immune disorders, and bone marrow failure syndrome. Research is ongoing about further uses of cord blood.

Before the delivery, cells flood the umbilical cord to boost the immunity of the child and the mother in preparation for the birthing process. The process makes the cord blood rich with stem cells. So, cord blood banking is also referred to as stem cell banking in many parts of the world.

About Cord Tissue

Cord tissue refers to the umbilical cord. A portion of the umbilical cord is cut for the purpose of banking it. Cord tissue is also rich in stem cells, which can be used to treat various health conditions. Cord tissue banking is relatively current when compared to cord blood banking.

Researches and medical experts realized that cord tissue can also be preserved for their stem cells. So, now cord tissue banking is also available with some private companies.

Differences between Cord Blood and Cord Tissue

  Cord blood provides oxygen and nutrients to the fetus. It is rich in stem cells that eventually build up the baby’s immune system and the blood. Cord tissue contains stem cells of a different kind. It is also rich in white cells and fats. Cord tissue also acts as the insulation for the vein and arteries found in the umbilical cord. The stem cells of the cord tissue can form tissues that make up the sensory organs, the nervous system, skin, cartilage, bone, and the circulatory system.

  Cord blood contains hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). These are stem cells that can differentiate (the cell division process) into various body cells. Cord tissue, on the other hand, contains mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Scientists have so far found MSC stem cells to be very promising for treating disorders of the connective tissues. MSCs can differentiate into cells of the tissues, muscles, fat cells, bone, cartilage, and organs.

  Research is far more in the advanced stages when it comes to cord blood. In comparison, research is in the nascent stages on the uses of cord tissue for treating diseases and as regenerative medicine.

  So far, the FDA has approved cord blood to treat about 80 diseases. Some of these conditions are cancers such as neuroblastoma, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML), and more. Others are metabolic disorders like Hunter syndrome, Gunther disease, Hurler syndrome, and more. Cord blood can also treat bone marrow failure syndromes like Evan’s syndrome, cyclic neutropenia, dyskeratosis congenital, and more. Blood disorders such as sickle-cell anemia, Cooley’s anemia, HbSC disease, and hydrops details. Cord blood is also useful for treating immune system disorders like reticular dysplasia, Omenn’s syndrome, thymic dysplasia, and ataxia telangiectasia. You cannot treat any condition using cord blood as a present. So far, the FDA has not approved any treatment using cord tissue. But the research so far has been incredibly promising. The day is not far when cord tissue will also be used as regenerative medicine. MSCs are undergoing more than 300 clinical trials. These cells have shown promise in the treatments of lung cancer, type-1 diabetes, spinal cord injuries, Parkinson’s disease, bone injuries, cartilage injuries, etc.

Parents now have the option to bank cord tissue and cord blood together. Cord blood and tissue banking can help save the life of your child.