What are Stem Cells?
Stem Cells are special cells with the amazing power to transform into any tissue or organ in your body. It is due to these special powers that they have the potential to treat over 80 life threatening diseases and disorders. Although, there are various types of stem cells that exist in the human body, stem cell therapy makes use of two main types, namely Hematopoietic Stem Cells (HSC) and Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSC).
The great thing about stem cells is that they can be extracted from a number of sources, like embryo, umbilical cord, cord blood, placenta, bone marrow, teeth, etc. The most abundant source of stem cells is the placenta (chorion & decidua), amniotic sac and amniotic fluid. For other sources, click here
Over 10,000 families have reposed faith in ReeLabs's banking, research and approved applications.
What are the benefits of Stem Cells?
- They are non-toxic and devoid of side effects compared to its toxic drug counterparts.
- Their use for therapeutic purposes can ensure lower treatment costs and promote longer lives.
- Stem cell therapy addresses both better treatment giving longer life, and lower costs.
How do they work?
Their potential to treat a number of ailments is getting increasingly evident. This lies in their extremely flexible nature, because of which they can effortlessly divide and renew themselves, and take the form of a desired tissue or cell. Following are some of the unique properties of stem cells, that may make them ideal for treating a number of disorders:
- Plasticity: Stem cells can use one tissue and create cell types of entirely different tissues.
- Homing: They have a unique ability to get attracted to the site of injury.
- Engraftment: This property helps them to unite with the new tissue, thus regenerating tissue to integrate with the parent tissue smoothly.
Types of Stem Cells
There are various types of stem cells that exist in the human body. Depending on the disorder required to be treated, the following three types that may be used:
- Hematopoietic stem cells (HSC): These are found mostly in the bone marrow but also in peripheral blood, cord blood etc. These cells are hematopoietic or blood forming by nature. Thus, they generally give rise to blood forming cells eg. red blood cells, white blood cells etc.
- Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC): These are bone marrow populating cells (different from HSC) that are present in the stroma. They possess the ability to differentiate into various cell types including, osteocytes (bone), adipocytes (fat), chondrocytes (cartilage), myocytes (muscle), cardiomyocytes (cardiac muscle) and neurons (nerves) and blood vessels, and thus play a vital role in their regeneration as and when required.
- Pluripotent stem cells (PSC): These are stem cell that have the characteristics of both Hematopoietic & Mesenchymal cells. Thus, they are capable of differentiating into all types tissues in the body.
- What are stem cells?
- What are the sources of stem cells?
- What is umbilical cord & umbilical cord blood?
- In what way are the umbilical cord blood stem cells different from the umbilical cord stem cells?
- How are umbilical cord stem cells different from bone marrow stem cells?
- What is HLA-matching?
- What is Graft-versus-Host-disease?
- What is the meaning of viability and potency of stem cells?
- How does early processing help improve the quality of stem cells?
- What is stem cell banking?
- Why should I bank my baby’s stem cells?
- Is it necessary to bank both the umbilical cord as well as the umbilical cord blood stem cells?
- Why should I bank my stem cells with ReeLabs?
- Will the stored stem cells be able to help the rest of my family?
- How long can the stem cells be preserved?
- What happens to the stem cells if I do not require them during the 20 year storage period?
- What is the possibility of requiring stem cells if I bank them?
- Does the quantity of collected cord & cord blood matter?
- When and how is the cord blood collected during child birth?
- Is the collection procedure risky, painful or time consuming?
- What do I do with the collection kit once I receive it?
- What happens to the cord and cord blood after it is collected?
- Do you test the cord and cord blood for infections? if so, is there any additional cost involved?
- Are my baby's stem cells being stored in vials or bags?
- How will ReeLabs help me if I require my baby's stem cells for myself or any other relative who needs treatment?
- Is stem cell banking expensive?
- Will my family really need stem cell therapy in future?
- How do you evaluate the sample?
- Where and how are the stem cells stored?
- Who will collect my baby’s cord and cord blood?
- Is there a cost to retrieve my baby's cord and cord blood stem cells if I need them in the future?
- If I wish to migrate, can I shift my stem cells to another stem cell bank?
- I have already stored my first child's stem cells with another stem cell bank. Do I need to store my second baby's stem cells as well. If so, why cant I just store it with the first bank?
- Will I be notified when my stem cells are processed and stored?
- How and when do I have to register?
- Why should I trust ReeLabs?
What are stem cells?
Stem Cells are young, primitive and unspecialized cells with a remarkable potential to renew, differentiate and develop into any desired tissue or organ of the body. They retain the ability to self-renew and differentiate into a variety of different tissues. Recent research shows that stem cells are not restricted to one lineage, but can differentiate along different lineages. This means hematopoietic (blood forming) stem cells may form heart tissue or lung tissue when subjected to suitable conditions. Further stem cells have the unique ability to integrate with the parent tissue, thus opening up a plethora of applications of stem cells in treatment of various disorders.(Back)
What are the sources of stem cells?
There are various sources of stem cells. The prominent ones are:
Embryonic stem cells from aborted fetuses: These cells are supposedly the most primitive and potentially the best source of stem cells for treatment of various disorders. They are derived from embryos and to be precise blastocysts as their inner cell mass. There are numerous ethical issues related to use of embryonic stem cells. The primitive nature of these cells has resulted in speculations that it can cause large number of unwanted side effects including juvenile malignancies if indiscriminately used.
Umbilical stem cells from umbilical cord blood at birth: Umbilical cord blood stem cells are derived from the umbilical cord during childbirth. Once the baby is born the umbilical cord is clamped and the child is separated from the mother, after which the blood from the umbilical vessel is collected in a specialized blood bag.
Umbilical cord blood is a readily available source of stem cells for treatments of routinely encountered disorders and is now used with increasing frequency as an alternative to bone marrow or peripheral stem cells for transplantation.
Adult stem cells:
Stem cells derived from bone marrow had been the most widely practiced form of transplants till the advent of the cord blood derived stem cells.
They can be obtained by a procedure called as bone marrow puncture from iliac crest of the hip bone. The procedure is painful and invasive as compared to umbilical cord blood collection.
The stem cells in this case are collected by a procedure called "apheresis". It requires the aid of a well programmed cell separator that would provide the desired stem cells from the blood stream. This procedure is generally utilized for autologous (for self) use only.
The limitation of this procedure is that it is lengthy, the total cell yield is suspect and the procured stem cells are obviously less plastic, thus making the homing and engraftment a big problem in most cases.
Stem cells can also be extracted from tissues like skin, cornea, fat, teeth, small intestine, and liver. These stem cells would also be generally utilized for autologous (for self) use.
What is umbilical cord & umbilical cord blood?
The umbilical cord is the connecting cord from the developing embryo or foetus to the placenta. The umbilical cord normally contains two arteries (the umbilical arteries) and one vein (the umbilical vein), buried within a jelly like substance called 'Wharton's jelly'. The function of the umbilical cod is to supply the foetus with oxygenated, nutrient-rich blood from the placenta and remove the deoxygenated and nutrient-depleted blood. The blood derived from the umbilical vein is called the umbilical cord blood. Both umbilical cord and umbilical cord blood are required for the procurement of stem cells in clinical practice.(Back)
In what way are the umbilical cord blood stem cells different from the umbilical cord stem cells?
The umbilical cord blood stem cells carry predominantly hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). These cells are unspecialized and Blood Forming by nature. They generally give rise to blood forming cells like Red blood cells (RBCs), White Blood Cells (RBCs), Platelets etc. Recent research shows that in suitable conditions they have the ability to change their lineage i.e. though they are blood forming they can give rise to variety of tissues. This means hematopoietic (blood forming) stem cells may form heart tissue or lung tissue when subjected to suitable conditions, thus opening up a plethora of applications of stem cells in treatment of various disorders.
Umbilical cord lining contains a jelly like substance supporting the umbilical vein & arteries. This is called Wharton's jelly. It is an extremely rich source of Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs). These Mesenchymal stem cells possess an extensive proliferative potential and ability to differentiate into various cell types. Thus, they play pivotal roles in the formation of nerves, muscles, fat, blood vessels, bones, cartilage and various vital organs of the body. This explains the wide scope of mesenchymal stem cells in various degenerative disorders.(Back)
How are umbilical cord stem cells different from bone marrow stem cells?
Umbilical cord blood stem cells carry a distinct & significant advantage over bone marrow stem cells for the following reasons:
Umbilical cord blood stem cells are easy to collect, non invasive and painless as compared to bones marrow stem cells.
Umbilical cord blood stem cells are younger and undifferentiated as compared to bone marrow stem cells; hence there is a higher rate of engraftment.
Umbilical cord blood stem cells when used for transplant result in lower rate of GvHD (graft-vs-host disease) which is one of the major causes of transplant failure.
Umbilical cord blood stem cells are rarely contaminated with latent viruses and hence considered non-infectious.
Umbilical cord stem cells are young, naïve, primitive and unexposed to any disorders as opposed to bone marrow stem cells that would have withstood various diseases during the lifespan of the individual.
Almost 70% of patients needing a bone marrow transplant are unable to find a donor using donor registries. This problem does not arise in umbilical cord blood transplant since recent reports of unmatched cord blood being used for transplantation has shown success.
What is HLA-matching?
HLA-matching is the criteria used to determine the compatibility between the recipient and the donor. It refers to six proteins present that appear on the surface of white blood cells and other tissues in the body. A transplant can only be performed if at least 3 of the 6 proteins match.
When two people share the same Human Leukocyte Antigens (HLA), they are said to be a "match", i.e. their tissues are immunologically compatible with each other. There is a basic rule in HLA inheritance. The rule mentions that there is a 25% possibility of an identical match amongst siblings.(Back)
What is Graft-versus-Host-disease?
Graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) is a common complication in any stem cell transplant. In case of bone marrow transplantation the immune cells from the transplanted marrow recognize the recipient as "foreign" and mount an immunological attack. In effect the body rejects the transplanted stem cells. Cord blood transplants have a reduced incidence of GvHD because the immune cells within the cord blood are less reactive as compared to stem cells derived from other sources. By using your own stem cells there is no chance of GvHD.
Graft-versus-host-disease (GvHD) is characterized by selective damage to the liver, skin and mucosa, and the gastrointestinal tract. In acute cases it can also cause death.(Back)
What is the meaning of viability and potency of stem cells?
"Viability" means "being alive" hence points to the ability of stem cells to withstand processing and storage. The quantum or success of viability is determined by measuring the number of "living" stem cells after processing. The concept of "viability" also assumes tremendous significance at the time of retrieval of stem cells, post the thawing process. Hence the importance of viability works as an indirect testimony of the quality of processing and storage of stem cells, a pedigree that ReeLabs is proud of.
Potency by definition means the strength or power of stem cells to successfully assume roles that are assigned to them. Being an assessment of the caliber of the processing facility, ReeLabs with this careful, concerted approach towards isolation, processing and storage of stem cells is committed to accomplish the all important parameters required for successful transplants and hence guarantee maximum potency of stem cells. The extent of potency is determined by:
Capacity of the procured stem cells for extensive proliferation and multiplication.
Differentiation into desired cell type or tissue.
Integrate into surrounding tissue after transplant.
Function well for approximately the duration of the recipient's life.
Avoid harming the recipient in any way.
How does early processing help improve the quality of stem cells?
The cardinal rule in case of stem cell processing all over the globe remains the same. It says "Earlier the processing, greater is the final yield and quality of stem cells". After thorough validation, it is now conclusively proven that the quality of stem cells rapidly and progressively diminishes with each passing hour after the first six hours of collection. Hence ReeLabs has relentlessly pursued to ensure receipt of the sample in the central processing facility within six hours of collection. This inevitably ensures extraction of the finest caliber of stem cells with respect to the yield, quantity, viability, potency and sterility. This is illustrated in the graph below:
ReeLabs ensures processing of stem cells within 6 hours of extraction of the cells!(Back)
What is stem cell banking?
"Cord Blood Banking is a misnomer." The relevant term should be stem cell banking. The reason for this is that the cord blood (or any other source of stem cells) is essentially processed after collection; and stem cells that are isolated are stored or "banked", under cryogenic conditions with the help of an adequate liquid nitrogen backup system. Most cord blood banks store the stem cells for twenty one years after processing. However research has given ample evidence in suggesting that stem cells can be stored beyond twenty one years, even indefinitely provided they are processed and stored under appropriate storage conditions.(Back)
Why should I bank my baby’s stem cells?
Your baby's stem cells may provide numerous benefits to the baby, its siblings and the family. The application of stem cells in disorders like Blood Cancer, thallasemia, many immune diseases, storage disorders and numerous cancers is already established. There is a tremendous amount of excitement within the medical and scientific community regarding the potential uses of stem cells. Saving your baby's stem cells could be useful in treating a host of ailments ranging from innocuous to ominous and life threatening. If your child ever needs to use their Cord Blood as part of a life saving treatment, his/her stem cells shall provide an exact match. Siblings have up to a 50% chance of becoming a match. If you have a family history of certain types of cancer or blood disorders, Cord Blood banking may be a prudent decision. Stem cell research is a growing at a rapid rate with spate of discoveries made on a regular basis. The list of diseases for which stem cell treatments are available is also growing at a fast clip. The role of stem cells in “no hope disorders” like spinal cord injuries, stroke, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Muscular Dystrophies, ALS, Multiple Sclerosis, Liver cirrhosis and many more is especially noteworthy.(Back)
Is it necessary to bank both the umbilical cord as well as the umbilical cord blood stem cells?
It is beneficial to bank both cord and cord blood due to the virtue of different type of stem cells they can provide. While cord blood is rich in hematopoietic stem cells or HSCs, cord lining is rich in Mesenchymal stem cells or MSCs .The further classification of stem cells depend upon the surface markers that the family of both HSCs and MSCS possess. The markers of relevant in current clinical practice are:
- Hematopoietic Stem Cells [HSC] family: CD34+; CD45; CD133
- Mesenchymal stem cell [MSC]: CD73; CD90; CD106.
Further the vessels within the Warthon's jelly provide a rich source of vascular endothelial precursor stem cells that promote formation of new blood vessels.
Hence all these stem cells in unison, forge an exceptional combination and in doing so play a pivotal role in providing protection to patients against an array of congenital, degenerative and malignant diseases. In nutshell if a person can afford then he should bank all types of available stem cells as health insurance.(Back)
Why should I bank my stem cells with ReeLabs?
- ReeLabs has set up its state of the art processing facility in the heart of Mumbai replete with the most sophisticated technology.
- The laboratory is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to receive and process cord blood specimens.
- ReeLabs ensures that after blood collection the processing commences within six hours, a timeframe that recent research has shown ensures maximum yield of stem cells.
- Our facility conforms to international standards in terms of quality, sterility and hygiene which are fundamental to Stem cell processing and banking. While the entire lab premise is Class 100,000, the processing area or the clean room is Class 10,000 and the safety work bench where the stem cells are actually harvested in Class 100. We strictly adhere to GLP (Good Laboratory Practices) and AABB (American Association of Blood banks) norms.
- All cord blood samples are tested for bacterial contamination, total nucleated, CD34 and viability cell counts. The samples of stem cells bear barcoded cryolabels which include an identifier code, mother's name, date of storage, and assigned inventory number. The accompanying software aids in tracking of samples during retrieval.
- The cryo-preservation is strictly maintained at controlled temperatures using liquid nitrogen (-196 deg℃) or its vapor (-175 deg℃)
- ReeLabs have employed the universally prevalent and AABB approved vapor phase as the desired mode for storage of samples.
- The liquid nitrogen levels are monitored with the help of requisite alarm systems and daily temperatures are carefully recorded using computerized data loggers. The tanks are replenished at regular intervals and are also equipped with inherent liquid nitrogen back up systems. (Back)
Will the stored stem cells be able to help the rest of my family?
Stem cells banked are form of health insurance in providing protection to patients against an array of congenital, developmental, malignant and degenerative disorders. The possibility of obtaining a match for the affected sibling is obviously higher. Further the chances of procuring the right match for a near or distant relative is also present, given the fact that the family would have a similar genetic configuration. Given the immunological naivety of stem cells from cord Blood, the chances of successful engraftment are higher compared to bone marrow. Researchers say using stem cells from cord blood with a 3/5 or even a 2/5 match could lead to successful transplantation and hence optimize the use of stem cells for the entire family. There have also been cases of using totally unmatched cord blood, with wonderful results.(Back)
How long can the stem cells be preserved?
The stem cells are currently preserved for a period of 21 years. The contract is renewable after the said period. This practice is followed all over the globe; provided the cells are stored in cryogenic conditions with full-proof liquid nitrogen back up systems. Researchers are now investigating the possibility of storing stem cells for longer periods, possibly indefinitely under optimum storage conditions. However, the validation of the process can only occur once the period of storage exceeds 21 years. The oldest cord blood bank is approximately only 12 years old.(Back)
What happens to the stem cells if I do not require them during the 20 year storage period?
Stem cells are essentially stored for a period of 21 years by most cord blood banks. The advent of exhaustive research indicates that there is a fair possibility of requiring stem cells if you do bank them. Even if u haven't banked stem cells there is a strong possibility of requiring stem cell therapy at some stage in life, especially in degenerative disorders. However, if for whatever reason your banked stem cells are not retrieved in the 20 year storage period, the option of extending the tenure is provided at a prescribed fee prevailing at that time. At this stage, the ownership of stem cells shall be legally transferred to the child.(Back)
What is the possibility of requiring stem cells if I bank them?
With the advent of exhaustive research in the field of stem cell medicine, there is an ample possibility of requiring the banked stem cells. At this moment, there is established application of stem cells in numerous bone marrow (leukemia, thallasemia, sickle cell disease etc.), metabolic and storage disorders (Gaucher's disease, Neuman Pick's disease etc). However, dispute tall claims by most cord blood banks, admittedly there is at best a mild possibility of the child or his family suffering from these disorders and requiring stem cells for the purpose. However, recent research has shown promise with notable stem cell applications in host of chronic, degenerative, malignant disorders and “numerous no hope diseases” viz. Diabetes, Chronic Lung Disease, Osteoarthritis, Spinal Cord Injuries, Stroke, Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimer's disease, ALS, Multiple sclerosis, Dystrophies, Non-Healing Fractures of bone, Liver Cirrhosis and many more and with passage of time their role is bound to be more and more pronounced if not indispensable. ReeLabs assists you in creating liaisons with suitable transplant physicians and hospitals to facilitate therapy this professionally.(Back)
Does the quantity of collected cord & cord blood matter?
Yes, there is a minimum quantity required; which is about 20 ml of cord blood and one inch of cord. The yield of stem cells should ideally be proportional to the quantity of Blood collected, but research has proven that beyond a particular amount of cord blood (60 to 80 ml) and cord tissue (10 to 12 inches), there is no significant improvement in the same. Further, another striking feature is that there is no sacrosanct connection between yields of stem cells even with identical amounts of cord blood / cord lining collected. The actual quantum of stem cells collected solely depends on the genetic constitution of the person. Hence, a seemingly inadequate cord blood / cord collection may also provide a rich yield of stem cells. The crux of stem cell yield is the quality of processing. Further with the advent of in-vitro amplifications of stem cells it is possible to multiply the immunologically “precious” stem cells. ReeLabs boasts of the finest processing techniques and possibility of in-vitro amplification, thus relatively neutralizing the disadvantage of inadequate cord blood / cord collection.(Back)
When and how is the cord blood collected during child birth?
This process does not harm you or your baby. After the delivery of your baby, the umbilical cord is clamped and cut. Your newborn is no longer attached to the umbilical cord. The remaining blood, which is normally discarded, is now collected by experts.
The cord is cleaned with alcohol and betadine to prevent bacterial and fungal contamination, and then the needle end of the collection bag is inserted into the umbilical cord. This procedure is safe, painless, and does not harm the mother or her baby. The blood flows by gravity into the collection bag. The entire process takes less than 10 minutes. After the cord blood collection is over approximately 10 to 12 inches of umbilical cord is collected in a sterile container containing Ringer Lactate and an antibiotic. ReeLabs supplies you with the cord and cord blood collection kit prior to delivery.(Back)
Is the collection procedure risky, painful or time consuming?
There is absolutely no risk associated with the procedure to either the mother or the baby. The entire procedure is painless and it takes approximately 5 to 7 minutes for the entire procedure of cord and cord blood collection.(Back)
What do I do with the collection kit once I receive it?
The collection kit is sent to you about two months before your due date. It is extremely important to carry this kit with you to the hospital as it contains a unique bar code that helps us identify your baby's cord and cord blood. We advise you to keep it in your hospital bag so you won't forget it.(Back)
What happens to the cord and cord blood after it is collected?
The procedure to bank you baby's umbilical cord is very simple, safe and completely painless. The cord can be collected after a normal delivery or a cesarean section and can usually be done in under five minutes. After the cord is clamped and cut, a representative from ReeLabs immediately collects the sample and the following steps are implemented:
- Step 1: The sample is collected in a barcoded kit and transported to our lab.
- Step 2: The received sample will be tested for transmissible diseases like HIV, Hepatitis B & C, other STDs, etc.
- Step 3: Post-testing, the sample is processed in a clean room adhering to international standards of sterility and hygiene.
- Step 4: The sample is processed using our proprietary technology and the stem cells are isolated.
- Step 5: These stem cells are subjected to a quality control analysis for count, viability, purity and potency.
- Step 6: Before cryo-preservation, they are frozen at the rate of 1º C per minute till they reach -150º C. After that, a quality check is performed again and they are cryopreserved.
- Step 7: The stem cells are stored in imported cryo-containers with data logging for recording temperatures and liquid nitrogen backup systems.
All these steps ensures that your baby's precious stem cells are processed and stored in the best possible manner and obtain the maximum yield when required.(Back)
Do you test the cord and cord blood for infections? if so, is there any additional cost involved?
- HIV I & II by ELIZA and PCR
- HBSAG (Hepatitis B) by ELIZA and PCR
- HCV (Hepatitis C) by ELIZA and PCR
- Blood Culture for infection.
- Rh grouping/Typing
After the processing and before cryo-preservation part of the sample is tested for (using a in-house Flow Cytometer):
- Mononuclear count
- CD34+ counts and Mesenchymal Cell Counts
- Cell viability.
HLA typing can be performed at the clients request for an additional cost at the time of processing.(Back)
Are my baby's stem cells being stored in vials or bags?
ReeLabs has the facility to store cord blood in either vials or blood bags. Each has advantages and disadvantages and, there's no scientific research proving that one method is better than the other. The main advantage of using blood bags is that the same bag is used to collect and store the cord blood. This limits blood handling and, therefore, possible contamination. Other experts say that blood bags can break during long-term storage. Vials are less likely to break and they seal cord blood in two layers of protection, reducing the chances of contamination by viruses.
ReeLabs stores stem cells in multiple vials or compartmentalized bags, rather than a single vial or bag. This storage procedure gives you the potential to use your baby's cord blood on more than one occasion. If you choose multiple-vial or compartmented-bag storage today, you may someday be able to use the cord blood from one child to treat multiple people and diseases if the expansion techniques are perfected over a period of time.(Back)
How will ReeLabs help me if I require my baby's stem cells for myself or any other relative who needs treatment?
ReeLabs is steadfast in assisting you in case you ever need the banked stem cells. This can be achieved in two ways. Firstly if the patient needs transplantation with his own physician, then a requisition letter mentioning detailed medical history shall have to be provided to ReeLabs. Relevant tests if any may have to be performed on the stem cells prior to dispatch. ReeLabs stands committed to optimizing stem cell therapy. Besides providing you banked stem cells, ReeLabs shall also assist you in creating liaisons with suitable transplant physicians and hospitals to facilitate therapy.(Back)
Is stem cell banking expensive?
No. Stem cell banking is not expensive at all. Further, multiple payment options are available to reduce any concerns of affordability. Compared to the peace of mind that Stem Cell banking provides, the cost is negligible.(Back)
Will my family really need stem cell therapy in future?
There is a remote possibility of requirement of stem cells for a bone marrow, metabolic or storage disorder. The satisfying outcome of stems in these conditions having been more or less ascertained, the emphasis has shifted in closely observing applications in other pertinent medical disorders, many of which have already been classified as “no hope diseases”. These disorders range from numerous congenital or neurodegenerative diseases like Multiple Sclerosis, ALS, Muscular Dystrophies to the more familiar and commonly occurring disorders like Stroke, Diabetes, Myocardial Infarctions, Osteoarthritis, Liver Cirrhosis etc. Years of extensive research have started yielding extremely encouraging results and stem cells have finally provided conclusive signs of assuming their rightful spot at the acme of clinical medicine. There is now a paradigm shift in the conceptualization of stem cell therapies by many researchers, doctors and scientists due to its significant impact in reversing many disease processes. The application of stem cells in disorders with no available treatment, like in the case of spinal cord injuries due to say vehicular accidents is especially noteworthy. Stem cell therapies in other prominent disorders with effective conventional therapies have also produced excellent results when used independently or in combination. The most heartening fact is that these stem cells are non-toxic and devoid of side effects compared to their toxic drug counterparts viz. medications, antibiotics, steroids and chemotherapeutic agents routinely used in medical practice, making its transplantation very safe and convenient.(Back)
How do you evaluate the sample?
After the processing and before cryo-preservation part of the sample is tested for:
Mononuclear (MNC) count
Absolute CD34+ count
Mesenchymal Cell Count
Stem cell Cell viability
These studies are carried out on an in house Flow Cytometer which gives accurate results. A preservation certificate or Certificate of analysis which mentions all the results is sent to the mother within 15 to 20 days of processing the sample.(Back)
Where and how are the stem cells stored?
The samples of stem cells bear barcoded cryolabels which include an identifier code, mother's name, date of storage and assigned inventory number. The accompanying software aids in tracking of samples during retrieval.
The stem cells are stored in vacuum insulated Liquid Nitrogen containers filled with ample amount of liquid Nitrogen specifically designed to withstand cryogenic conditions for long durations. The storage can be in 5 ml vials or multi-compartmentalized cryobags.
The cryo-preservation is strictly maintained at controlled temperatures using liquid nitrogen (-196 deg℃) or its vapour (-175 deg℃)
ReeLabs have employed the universally prevalent and AABB approved vapour phase as the desired mode for storage of samples.
The liquid nitrogen levels are monitored with the help of requisite alarm systems and daily temperatures are carefully recorded using computerized data loggers. The tanks are replenished at regular intervals and are also equipped with inherent liquid nitrogen back up systems.(Back)
Who will collect my baby’s cord and cord blood?
ReeLabs has a formidable network of trained nurses all over Mumbai. The option of using ReeLabs' trained nurses rests with the client. Most hospitals and Gynecologists are efficient in collecting the cord and cord blood. Also many hospitals have their own work ethics that prohibit outsiders to participate in any in-house activity. In any case, adequate training and know how is passed on to the Gynecologist prior to delivery.(Back)
Is there a cost to retrieve my baby's cord and cord blood stem cells if I need them in the future?
No, there is no cost for retrieval of the baby's stem cells. However, HLA testing, if required is chargeable.(Back)
If I wish to migrate, can I shift my stem cells to another stem cell bank?
Yes, that is possible. Few nominal formalities shall have to be completed. The processing charges are non-refundable. The storage fee up to the year of retrieval shall be charged and the rest of the charges shall be refunded. If the task of shipping the stem cells is also assigned to ReeLabs, then the said charges shall also be borne by the client.(Back)
I have already stored my first child's stem cells with another stem cell bank. Do I need to store my second baby's stem cells as well. If so, why cant I just store it with the first bank?
It is important to store your second baby's stem cells as well. This makes sure you have additional help at hand if the need ever arises. By storing in a different bank, you are increasing the chances of protecting your stem cells against any calamity. That is, if any one bank was affected by a natural calamity, at least the other sample would be safe in a different bank.(Back)
Will I be notified when my stem cells are processed and stored?
Yes, once the cord and cord blood have been processed and stored we will notify you of the same. There would be a certificate of analysis (COA) sent to you after processing that shall give a detailed account of your baby's stem cells. Further this COA shall come immensely handy at the time of retrieval; hence it would be prudent to preserve it carefully.(Back)
How and when do I have to register?
As soon as you decide to bank your stem cells, you need to contact us. A ReeLabs representative will get in touch with you and help you complete the necessary documentation. We suggest you contact us as soon as possible so the formalities can be dealt with at a relaxing pace, leaving you with ample time to enjoy your pregnancy without the any hassles.(Back)
Why should I trust ReeLabs?
The strength of any organization is determined by quality of the facility and caliber of the workforce, both aspects that ReeLabs are extremely proud of. ReeLabs has set up its state of the art cord & cord blood processing lab with the latest and most sophisticated technology in the heart of Mumbai. The laboratory is manned by a well qualified, highly competent and skilled staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to receive and process cord blood specimens. Secondly, one look at the list of founders, promoters and directors of the company is adequate to instill confidence into the consumer. The promoters collectively have a remarkable track record in pharmaceuticals, FMCG, Pathology, Blood banking and clinical research, fields that have a close relation to the field of stem blood banking, research and therapy. The company is debt free with no encumbrances. Also ReeLabs, unlike its competitors has endeavoured to comprehensively encompass all aspects of this fascinating field including both stem cell banking and treatment. Further, ReeLabs with the able assistance of an outstanding panel of doctors, scientists and researchers is committed to carry the baton of stem cell research forward.(Back)
Autologous stem cell transplant
Autologous is when the donor and the receiver are the same person. Much like umbilical cord blood banking, stem cells are obtained from a person, processed and cryo-stored for transplantation in future. This has gained tremendous precedence in major Indian cities in the past decade.
More than just banking…
At ReeLabs, we don't just stop at banking. Our scientists have worked diligently for the past 5 years to develop protocols which harness the true potential of stem cells. Find out why you should bank with us and learn why so many parents prefer ReeLabs when it comes to stem cell banking. Click to read more about Our Story