Umbilical cord blood is a unique type of blood, only available for collection immediately after childbirth. Unlike mature blood, umbilical cord blood contains high numbers of stem cells that were used to create life. Known as hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), these cells can be programmed by the body to become any type of blood component, including red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.
Umbilical cord blood stem cells can be collected immediately after childbirth and processed to isolate and cryogenically preserve the HSCs for potential future medical use. If needed, stored stem cells from umbilical cord blood can be thawed and transfused into the bloodstream to regenerate the immune system.