Cord Blood and Cord Tissue- What Are They and How Do They Differ?

Cord Blood and Cord Tissue- What Are They and How Do They Differ?

This is a common question people ask when they inquire about cord blood. Note that cord blood banking is a popular concept, and transfusions of cord blood are well in practice. While doing further research in this area, parents may come across something called cord tissue. The reason why the concept of this tissue is not as popular as cord blood is because cord tissue stem cells have been discovered recently in the 1990s. Research is being carried out to find out its potentiality as regenerative medicine. If you want to know how cord tissue stem cells differ from cord blood stem cells, and if people should consider keeping one or both, read on-

What is cord blood?

Cord blood refers to the blood present in the placenta and umbilical cord after delivery. The umbilical cord must be clamped and then cut as per the doctor’s instructions. This leaves somewhere around 80 to 120 millilitres of blood in the cord. A surgical needle is used to extract this blood from the cord.

Despite the small amount of blood that is collected, there are millions of stem cells in it. This is a type of stem cell that builds the immune system in the baby. After their extraction, the stem cells are preserved and used in the future for the treatment of certain medical conditions.

What is cord tissue?

The insulation material that surrounds the umbilical cord vessels is referred to as cord tissue. The umbilical cord is clamped, cut, and saved after delivery. Cord tissue contains a lot of stem cells that give rise to cartilage, bones, skin, circulatory tissues, sensory organs, and the nervous system in humans. 

The stem cells collected from this tissue are preserved so that they can be used in the future for treating various medical conditions. 

Delving a little deeper into the subject-

All parts of the body need blood to get oxygen and nutrients. Cord blood provides the same nutrients and oxygen to the baby as normal blood carries to other parts of the body, but it also provides life-supporting elements that prove beneficial for the baby growing inside the mother. Human blood comprises red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and stem cells. It’s the presence of hematopoietic stem cells in cord blood that makes it different from mother’s blood. These cells get used up in forming the immune system and blood of the baby. These hematopoietic stem cells are stored and isolated when cord blood is banked.

Cord tissue is clear and jelly-like in appearance. It is made up of white cells, fats, and stem cells and serves as insulation for the umbilical cord’s vein and arteries. It contains both epithelial and endothelial stem cells, but it also has mesenchymal stem cells, which can become tissues such as the nervous system, circulatory tissues, and sensory organs. They also form the skin, bones, cartilage, and other tissues. 

Treatments they offer might differ-

It makes sense that since cord tissue and cord blood have different types of stem cells, they are used to treat different conditions or diseases. Although both the cord blood’s hematopoietic stem cells and cord tissue’s mesenchymal stem cells are used to treat various conditions, the conditions they treat are not always the same.

Cord blood has been in use for over 25 years. Among cord tissue and cord blood, the latter has the FDA’s approval as a routine treatment option. It can be used for the treatment of anaemia, leukaemia, lymphomas, and genetic metabolic diseases. Clinical trials are underway for cord blood to treat more severe conditions like stroke, cerebral palsy, and diabetes.

Clinical trials are continuing to examine the future potential medical benefits of mesenchymal stem cells such as those found in the cord tissue. However, the results so far have been satisfactory. They can be used for treating issues such as kidney and heart diseases, autoimmune diseases, multiple sclerosis, and wound healing.

You can bank both together-

Cord blood has been shown to be a treatment for over 80 diseases. There are also clinical trials for cord blood in autism and cerebral palsy. Cord tissue is a promising future option and has great potential to treat conditions that were once untreatable.

Parents should look beyond the present advantages of banking and consider the possibilities for the future. Because each type of stem cell is different, both cord tissue and cord blood can prove to be beneficial or vital for humans. The doctor will take less than a minute for the procedure. These are just a few of the reasons why it’s recommended that expectant parents keep both kinds of stem cells while they can.