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Family Bank: Smart Cells

Smart Cells International


Smart Cells, operating since 2001, is the UK's first private cord blood and tissue storage company and is licensed by the Human Tissue Authority (HTA) to handle all cord blood and tissue samples. 

Labs and Locations

Smart Cells International,
Unit 7 Chancerygate
Horton Close, Horton Road
West Drayton, UB7 8EW
United Kingdom

Business Experience

Established in 2000, Smart Cells International is the first & most experienced private umbilical cord stem cell company in the UK, having successfully released more cord blood units for transplant than any other UK private stem cell company. They have successfully released 21 transplants, and have worked with transplant centres in USA, UK, Germany, India and Singapore. Famicord Group acquired an 84.2% ownership stake in Smart Cells as of 4 August 2021.

Collection Kit

Smart Cells stem cell collection kit contains all the necessary components for the safe collection of umbilical cord blood and/or cord tissue sample(s). Each kit also contains a maternal blood collection kit and a copy of our collection instructions for information purposes and to ensure samples are collected in accordance with requirements of the Human Tissue Authority (UK).

Cord Blood Collection Kit contains:
•    Blood bag
•    Gallipot 60mL single use sterile
•    Cotton wool balls, sterile
•    Tisept Disinfectant
•    Alcohol swabs 70% Alcohol pre-injection
Cord Tissue Collection Kit contains:
•    Ziplock path envelope
•    Absorbent sheet  
•    Alcohol swabs 70% Alcohol pre-injection
•    Scissors, dressing single use, sterile
•    Steripod Saline,
•    Falcon tube, single wrapped, sterile
•    Gloves, Nitrile pair, sterile
•    Label, batch control
Maternal blood collection kit contains:
•    BD Vacutainers 367525 K2E (EDTA)
•    BD Vacutainers 366468 SST 11 Advance
•    4 pocket Absorbent    
•    Alcohol swabs 70% Alcohol pre-injection
•    Blood Collection set 23G, butterfly sterile
•    Needle holder    
•    Spot plaster
•    Ziplock path envelope
Also included in the stem cell collection kit box:
•    Foil envelope, insulated Ziplok
•    Gelwrap
•    Ziplok bag    
•    Absorbent sheet  
•    Spare pair of scissors
•    iButton

Transportation container

Smart Cells use the NanoCool® temperature controlled packaging system to transport samples. The NanoCool® system is activated once the samples are packed which ensures that the temperature remains within the optimum range.

Shipping Info

Smart Cells uses licensed courier services to transport all samples into the laboratory. In the event a stored sample is needed for a transplant, we have a validated dry-shipper that can safely transport samples to any transplant centre in the world.

Processing Method

Smart Cells uses the Sepax equipment for automated volume reduction of cord blood - this is the preferred method of all public banks in the United Kingdom and most public and around the world. Smart Cells conducts detailed testing of all cord blood samples before storing, including the CD34+ count - a requirement from all transplant centres with which we have worked.

Components Stored

Smart Cells stores the whole buffy coat, the component of blood that contains white cells and stem cells, as well as smaller samples of whole blood taken before processing.

Storage Method

Smart Cells uses a controlled step-rate freezer to reduce the temperature of cord blood samples slowly to -160 C before transferring them into long term storage tanks where the units are stored in the vapour phase of cryogenic nitrogen.

Licensing & Accreditation

The Human Tissue Authority (HTA) is the mandatory accrediting organization for the procurement, testing, processing and storage of all human tissue in the United Kingdom. Smart Cells International holds a full HTA license for all these procedures.

Clinical Experience

Smart Cells has released the highest number of samples for therapeutic use of all private companies in the UK. We have released 21 samples of potentially life saving stem cells.  Transplants have been for both autologous and allogeneic use to treat a number of illnesses, including Thalassaemia and Cerebral Palsy.  Smart Cells is working in partnership with Imperial College, London, conducting a study into the efficacy of cord blood stem cells in the treatment of Cerebral Palsy.


Smart Cells International has a third party agreement in place with another HTA registered company so that in the event of any disaster, the continued storage of the samples is guaranteed.

Community Service

•    If a stored sample needs to be used within the first year of storage, the service is provided free of charge, and any monies paid in advance will be fully refunded.
•    If a sample needs to be used after the first year of storage, there is no fee for preparing the sample for transportation to the treating clinic.
•    Smart Cells International has provided a completely free collection and storage service for a number of families where there is a pre-diagnosed illness in the family that may be treated using stored stem cells.


Smart Cells is committed to making cord blood banking affordable for everyone. Their first year fee is only £690 in the UK, and this includes both the 1st year storage fee and the  phlebotomist fee. Storage fees of £145 per year begin from the 2nd year. Outside the UK, prices vary, depending on the country of birth.

Additional Services

Cord tissue storage is also available. It is not available as a stand-alone service, but in conjunction with cord blood stem cell storage as a complete package. Cord tissue samples are processed and stored in completely separate locations from the cord blood samples.

Prices with Additional Services

Smart Cells prices include phlebotomist services, a value of £300.

Address: Unit 7 Chancerygate, Horton Close, Middlesex UB7 8EW United Kingdom.