Cord Blood vs. Cord Tissue

What is the difference between cord blood and cord tissue?

Cord refers to the umbilical cord, which is the structure that connects baby in the womb to the placenta. It is the baby’s lifeline. During the birth process, the baby comes through the birth canal first and within a half hour, the womb expels the placenta with the umbilical cord attached.  For quite some time, the blood of the cord has been used to determine the baby’s blood group.

Cord blood is the blood from the umbilical cord and cord tissue is a sample of the tissue taken from the cord. Both are now used to collect mesenchymal cells that can be used in stem cell therapy. Cord blood contains stem cells, which are better to develop red blood cells and immune cells. Cord tissue also contains stem cells and connective tissue and these are used in tissue repair.

Stem cells can be used to treat some kinds of cancer in which the bone marrow breaks down or in which organs of the body fail to function properly. They can also be used to repair damage to the spinal cord or damage to cartilage. There is a lot of research being carried out on stem cells and how they may be able to be used for continued health and to treat diseases.

Both cord blood and cord tissue can be collected and saved for a time when they may be needed in the future. When a person has these in storage, there is no need to rely on donors if the need arises. It has to be collected at birth though and if it isn’t the umbilical cord and the placenta are dumped as garbage.

Summary

  1. Cord blood and cord tissue are the best sources of mesenchymal stem cells.
  2. There are more stem cells in cord tissue than in cord blood.
  3. Cord blood comes from the blood of the umbilical cord, but cord tissue comes from the actual cord.
  4. Stem cells collected at birth can be stored just in case they may be needed to treat diseases and to repair tissues in the future.
  5. The genetic combinations of the cord are the same as those of the body, reducing the need for immune injections if the cord blood and cord tissue are collected and stored.