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What are cord blood stem cells?

The umbilical cord is a tube-like structure in the womb of the mother that connects the foetus to the placenta. It gives the baby nutrients and removes waste. Cord blood, also known as "placental blood", is the blood that remains in the umbilical cord and placenta after a baby is born. Thanks to the science of cord blood banking, cord blood can help nurture life, long after a baby's birth and provide a source of lifesaving stem cells if the need for a stem cell transplant ever arises. This is due to the high concentration of blood-forming or Haematopoietic Stem Cells (HSCs) found in cord blood. HSCs are responsible for replenishing blood and regenerating the immune system.

Cord blood stem cells transplants are used in the following ways:
HSCs have the unique ability to differentiate into various cell types found in the blood, as depicted in the diagram below:

Red blood cells

Carry oxygen to all cells in the body

White blood cells

Fight infections


Helps blood to clot in the event of an injury

DCR No. 4780, Version B, December 2022