Stem cell have the unique ability to transform into any cell in the human body.
It is believed that the beginning of the study of stem cell was in the 1960s after the research of Canadian scientists Ernest McCulloch and James Till. The umbilical cord contains two types of stem cells: hematopoietic, found in the blood of the umbilical cord, and mesenchymal, found in the tissue of the umbilical cord.
WHAT CAN STEM CELLS BE USED FOR?
As medicine advances, new uses for stem cells are constantly being discovered. They are approved for the treatment of nearly 100 severe conditions, including blood disorders, different types of cancer, metabolic disorders, autoimmune diseases, etc. Studies are underway on the use of stem cells to repair the heart after a heart attack. Stem cells are also used to repair severely damaged soft tissues.
IS STEM CELL HARVESTING DANGEROUS FOR THE DONOR?
Stem cells are harvested from the baby’s umbilical cord after birth. The process is painless and safe for both mother and baby. Usually both cord blood and tissue are harvested. The procedure can be performed either by the delivery team or by a person from the tissue bank of your choice.
FOR HOW LONG ARE STEM CELLS STORED?
Stem cells are stored for a period of 20 years. After that, the contract can be renewed by your child who will already be an adult.
HOW MUCH DOES STEM CELL HARVESTING COST?
The entire procedure of performing the necessary laboratory tests, the harvesting itself, processing and storage of the stem cells for 20 years costs about BGN 5,000. Most tissue banks offer various installment payment options.
There is an option to donate stem cells to the National Public Umbilical Cord Stem Cell Donor Bank, which is free of charge. The difference with private tissue banks is that in a public tissue bank the preserved biological material is made available to the people who need it, whether they are donors or just people needing a transplant.