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What are Cord Tissue derived stem cells?

The tissue of the umbilical cord, or ‘cord tissue’, is an additional source of valuable stem cells.

The tissue of a baby’s umbilical cord is an abundant source of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) which are different from the types of stem cells found in a baby’s cord blood.


What is cord tissue?

Cord tissue is the insulating material (Wharton’s jelly) surrounding the vessels of the umbilical cord.

 Why does Baja Medical use cord cells?

Due to the potency of these cells we offer protocols involving the administration of many hundreds of millions of cord tissue derived stem cells.

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have the unique ability to rapidly divide, regenerate and differentiate themselves into a wide range of cells types. These powerful cells are showing great potential in clinical research for conditions affecting cartilage, muscle and nerve cells.
Cord tissue stem cells, also known as Mesenchymal Stem Cells or MSCs, are found in the Wharton’s Jelly and perivascular regions of the umbilical cord.
The cord tissue can contain millions of a different type of stem cell that goes on to form a person’s nervous system, sensory organs, circulatory tissues, skin, bone, cartilage and more.

Cord tissue is rich in mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) which can be used to help heal, regenerate, & treat a variety of conditions. MSCs have shown the ability to avoid a negative response from a person’s immune system, allowing the cells to be transplanted in a wide range of people without fear of rejection. These transplants vastly increase the body’s natural healing abilities and have a strong anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive response.

Notably MSCs decline with age as does their robustness. The decline starts around age 20 and progresses.

MSC robustness is determined by a few main factors: the rate at which they multiply, (double); the amount of trophic factors they produce, & the rate at which they deteriorate. For all of these reasons MSCs are more potent when they come from younger persons. This is why MSC cord cells taken from healthy young persons are far preferred.

Scientists have found that umbilical cord derived MSCs are more potent that those taken from bone marrow and adipose fat from adults.

Taken from umbilical cord tissue, it has been established that cord cells are more robust than those taken from the bone marrow and adipose of older individuals.

Other Advantages of cord tissue cells

One great advantage of cord tissue cells is that they can transplanted into patients without great fear of rejection.

Because there are no blood products involved in the cord cells we use these cells are immune-privileged. This  means that they don’t have markers on them that would trigger an immune response in the body.  Thus they do not have to be HLA matched[1] or matched to a particular donor.

Safety of cord cells

Along with all adult stem cells, including those derived from bone marrow and adipose fat, no significant safety issues have been reported thru clinical trials and thru clinical use.

Researchers and treating doctors are satisfied that they are extremely safe.  The only reported side effects being short term cases of nausea, fatigue etc… and associated with all medical procedures. Contrast the situation with embryonic/fetal cell where there are fears that these cell types are potentially tumorigenic- i.e. can evolve into tumors.  Due in large part to this, researchers and regulators tend to be wary of them and focus on other stem cells types, such as cord, bone marrow, and fat.

This is one reason why we do not use fetal/embryonic cells.

MSCs are showing great potential in the fields of regenerative medicine, tissue engineering and gene therapy. They can differentiate into a variety of cell types, including bone, cartilage, muscle, nerve and others.
There is a vast quantity of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in cord tissue, which can differentiate into many types of cells, including organ, muscle, skin, bone, cartilage, and fat cells.
Research is growing at an incredible pace. MSCs from cord tissue are currently being used in multiple clinical trials and hold the promise of being able to someday treat debilitating conditions  and injuries to bones and cartilage.

How do we obtain the cord cells we use?

Firstly, all of the umbilical cords we use are legally obtained and processed by licensed laboratories. The cords come from healthy disease free donors who consent to their use.

Cord tissue contains living cells. The tissue found inside donated umbilical cords, notably Wharton’s jelly,  contain millions of undifferentiated stem cells. These cells are then treated in a laboratory  so that they are multiplied, and replicated in greater quantities. This process is is called ‘cell expansion’. Thru expansion a few million stem cells can be converted into billions, ready for use in treatments. In order for these cells to be cultured and expanded they have to be viable when extracted from the cord tissue.  Furthermore, the cells used for treatment are tested for viability prior to their application to the patient to ensure that their quality and quantity are correct.

 Is there any chance of getting contaminated from a disease in the cells ?

No, because there are no blood products involved that could cause this to happen.

How are the stem cells stored?

 The cells are cryogenically preserved in a protective solution at -150F, This resembles the methods as to how ovules and/or sperm are stored for future use in fertility procedures. Prior to their application  the temperature of the cells are brought  to the correct temperature for infusion into the body.

Are stem cell therapies safe?

Stem cell treatments are almost universally considered to be safe ( with the exception of embryonic /fetal cells- as noted below). Mesenchymal cells, including  those derived from cord tissue, bone marrow, and adipose fat  have been administered thousands of times at clinics around the world without instances of rejection

Researchers have noted no significant long terms side effects suffered by patients who have been recipients of mesenchymal stem cells of the type used by Baja Medical.

The only significant  considered cases of adverse side effects relate to the potential tumor causing characteristics of embryonic /fetal cells which we do not use.

Since we do not use blood derived cells there is no risk of rejection or contamination with our cells. As a consequence the cells we use do not have to be HLA matched to a particular donor.

Will my body reject stem cells?

Cord-tissue derived mesenchymal stem cells, and other cells we use, do not have any risk of rejection within the body. This is due to  their immune-privileged, undifferentiated nature. Thus there is no chance of rejection in the body because they have yet to be “claimed”. As there are no blood products associated with them  they are universally accepted and do not require a HLA donor match.

[1]A process in which blood or tissue samples are tested for human leukocyte antigens (HLAs). HLAs are molecules found on the surface of most cells in the body. … HLA matching is done before a donor stem cell or organ transplant to find out if tissues match between the donor and the person receiving the transplant.