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Why store cord tissue?
Like cord blood, the umbilical cord tissue is a rich source of progenitor cells. However, they are a different population of cells from the ones in cord blood. While most of the stem cells in cord blood are blood-forming or hematopoietic stem cells (HSC), most of the cells in cord tissue are mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC). The MSC are not distributed uniformly in the cord, but are mostly clustered around the walls of the blood vessels. The typical umbilical cord is estimated to hold 11 million MSC per gram of tissue.
While MSC can be found in many parts of the adult human body, MSC from the umbilical cord or UC-MSC are the most commonly used in clinical trials of regenerative medicine. It is well established that they can modulate the immune system and suppress inflammation.
Schugar RC et al. 2009; Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology 2009:789526 (open access)