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What is cord tissue banking?

Cord blood banking has become mostly standardized over the past 25 years, but cord tissue banking is still an evolving field and industry standards are still being developed. For example, in cord blood banking the standard method of processing is to separate the component of the blood that holds stem cells and cryogenically freeze the isolated cells. 

Since 2015, half of family cord blood banks are also offering cord tissue storage, but their methods differ widely. Some banks merely freeze the cord intact with no attempt to process it. The majority of banks that offer cord tissue banking do process the cord, but the final biological product that they store may be either a tissue product (for example very small pieces of cord), or a cellular product of isolated cells (the same as cord blood storage), or both. The Parent’s Guide to Cord Blood Foundation is working to develop educational materials to help both parents and professionals navigate this rapidly evolving field.

References:
Pedro Silva Couto 2014; Storage of Mesenchymal Stem/Stromal cells in family stem cell banks: What do they offer? Parent's Guide to Cord Blood newsletter May 2014
Parent's Guide to Cord Blood Foundation 2015; Cord Blood Industry Report 2015
Parent's Guide to Cord Blood Foundation 2016; poster #1606 at International Cord Blood Symposium, Transfusion doi:10.1111/trf.13686