New research conducted by scientists at The University of Arizona shows that cord tissue cryopreservation does not affect its ability to provide viable stem cells for therapeutic application.
What is Cord Tissue Cryopreservation?
The tissue from the human umbilical cord is known to be a rich source of a special kind of stem cells called Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs). These MSCs are multipotent, which means that they can differentiate into a wide range of cells, including those of the bone, cartilage, and fat. Because of their broad differentiation potential, MSCs derived from cord tissue are currently the subject of nearly 50 clinical trials and hundreds of scientific research studies. Yet, until recently, most of the research used MSCs that were extracted from fresh cord tissue, and there was little published data from MSCs isolated from cryopreserved, or frozen, tissue.
There were no significant differences between the fresh and the frozen groups, and viable MSCs were able to be isolated from both.
What Did This New Study Discover About Cord Tissue Cryopreservation?
In the new study, cords collected from 10 donors were either cryopreserved or used immediately, and the two groups were then compared using MSC-specific markers. According to the data, there were no significant differences between the fresh and the frozen groups, and viable MSCs were able to be isolated from both. This new information will undoubtedly become useful for developing optimal strategies for preserving MSCs, especially as the option to store cord tissue for future use becomes more popular.